An Extremely Hard Travel & Meaningful Experience --Shirley's America Travel Diary 150 & 598th Friendly Greeting - Oct 1, 2020

Hi,Dear Friends

How are you?

I am sorry for I haven’t written to you for over 7 months since Feb 18, 2020 for I was in an extremely hard travel between the US and China. Fortunately, now I have finally come back Shenzhen, China.

Here are something I have experienced in the past several months.

1. A quite hard travel

Feb 14, 2020, when I finished my teaching as a Guest Chinese Art Teacher in the 4th American school of my 11st travel in the US, all of the American Airlines had stopped to fly to China for 14 days already, and until today, any non-Hong Kong citizen isn’t allowed to go through their customs… That means that my original flying plan does not work, therefore, I had to spend a high cost for changing my tickets to come back China via other airways… however, 12 groups of my flights didn’t work though I tried to come back via Japan, South Korea and Canada until Sept 11st, luckily, my 13rd group of flights worked and I landed in Guangzhou on Sept 13.

After a 14-days’ quarantining and 2 nucleic acid tests showed that I am not infected by the Covid-19, then I got the freedom and was allowed to come back Shenzhen City on Sept 27,2020.

2. Keep studying while fighting with sicknesses

Originally, I planed to come back China in March or Feb for I should have my thesis oral defense in May or June at the Graduate School of Chinese National Academy of Arts, but both of the flight situation and my health didn’t allow me to do it. So, since middle of March to about middle of July, I had to sit on the bed to prepare my paper. Although it’s a quite hard style, I read several hundred academic papers, a lot of books and written about 200,000 Chinese characters (plus what I had written within the past 4 years)... my Chinese art history and theory research job has entered the modern and contemporary era from 5 century B.C and I have had some views of my own already.

Now, what I am truly caring for isn’t whether passing or not passing the thesis oral defense, but whether I have really learned something useful and helpful to my cross-cultural and comprehensive art dream.

Fortunately, as a special situation, the Graduate School of Chinese National Academy of Arts has arranged my thesis oral defense time,at about the end of Nov, 2020, in Beijing.

3. Much friendship from the local American people
During the hard time, especially the city was closed and people were quarantined in the US, I was touched by so many local people’s friendly treatments and their kindness.

-- Mrs. Wanda Nava who is my former work partner 2009 to 2014 and her husband not only bought some masks for me, but also they did 2 hours round trip 3 times for helping me to cut the branches of the trees in my yard and carried them away…

-- Mr. John Walker who is my former agent since 2015 and his wife have helped me countless times on my house management and maintaining even though sometime he itself had to work for 6 days a week…

-- Mr. John David Lawson and his wife, who are my old friends since 2008, have not only helped me at almost every most difficult time, stored and looked after those most important art works for me, but also sent me to the airport, no matter how the flights changed, much earlier or latter…

-- Mrs. Qingqing Yan who is a boss of a Chinese restaurant and her husband, not only sent me some bread during the quarantine, but also bought me some antiseptic wipe and the face mask for my travel…

-- Prof. Qiao Yuhua and her husband not only treated me some food, but also helped me to call the South Korea Airline, to consult the flight information…

-- Xiao Penyou who is a former young exchange student was not only my temporary “driver”, but also booked masks and eye protector for me…

-- Mrs. Ellen who is one of my former students in 2015, not only led 11 children to my house to learn Chinese arts, but also she kept driving me to buy food... their love to Chinese arts has really encouraged me so much during the hard time...

-- Ms. Sara Burr who is the Curator of the local Art Museum answered each email of mine, her friendly treatments didn’t only let me see how an American Government official’s responsible working style, but also, gave me a courage to keep working on my cross-cultural and comprehensive art even though in the hard time...

Mrs. Gardener Lorraine and Mrs. Vicki who are my American English teachers have been keeping doing their best to teach us no matter online or offline...

-- Ms. Alecia who is a local estate agent helped me to call her friends to carry away a heavy sofa bed from my house...

-- Mrs. Christina who is also a local estate agent not only looks after my house, but also she helped me clean the house and did a lot of jobs which are more than her responsibilities...

--Also, in China, Ms. Liao Xiaoqun who is my former colleagues came to my apartment in Shenzhen 3 times for sending something I needed during my travel in the US.

-- Mr. Zhang Shulian who is working in Beijing and one of my former colleagues in Shenzhen entrusted his former classmate and his driver to look after my car in Shenzhen during I was in the US...

-- Mr. Zheng who is a taxi driver of Guangzhou, not only drove me from Guangzhou to Shenzhen for 2 hours safely, but also carried my 3 pieces of heavy luggage upstairs refusing any tip...

So, except the bad news that 14 of my 53 paintings which had been stored in a local university since 2011 were lost between Feb,2014 and Feb,2020 andone of them, which is I had created in 2008, has been collected into my second book, brought me some sad emotion for a short time... my heart is peaceful... After all, I am safe, alive and come back healthily from the US...

As long as there is a life here for me, there is a hope in my heart. I would certainly create many more better and higher quality art works and a cross-cultural and comprehensive art in the upcoming time...

Now, my extremely hard but quite meaningful American travel has past, my cross-cultural and comprehensive art dream hasn’t finished yet. With a grateful heart, during I was in the quarantine in Guangzhou, I have read more than 10 papers and 5 books...right now, after relaxing and cleaning my apartment in Shenzhen for 3 days, I am going to involve myself into my paper again... really, I believe, although there are many things bad, imperfect or maybe dangerous in the world, there are still more and more people working harder and harder with a kind, honest and sincere heart, rely on the continuous efforts of all of those people, human beings will certainly overcome the Covid-19 and this world will certainly get better and better, right?

How about you? Do you have anything special during the past several months to share? Really I hope you and your family members and friends safer, healthier, happier and more successful.

Photo Notes:

No.1: I was waiting for my second airplane at Dallas Airport for flying to the Los Angeles Airport to catch my 3rd airplane.
No.2: My work partner Mrs. Glad Eyeman and I.
No.3: My former work partner Mrs. Wanda Nava and I.
No.4: My old friend Mr. John David Lawson and I.
No.5: I sent the two paintings to Mr. John David Lawson and his wife to express my appreciations for their much help during those most difficult times.
No.6: I sent this painting to Mr. John Walker and his wife to express my little thankful heart for their good help.

No.7: I was in the English classroom at OTC.

No.8 - 10: A group of students kept coming to my house to learn Chinese arts once a week for more than 8 or 9 weeks, until the last second week I left for China.

A part of my students at my house.

No.12: Two American workers removed the heavy sofa bed away from my house.

No.13-16: A part of my American students' Chinese art works...


Sincerely, I am just a student on Arts of Painting, Music, English and Management,and work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do something with what I have learned, to make this little web site to be a little Electronic Bridge of Cross -cultural and Comprehensive Art Study and Chinese Language Learning, to help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate you for your good understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.

Shirley Yiping Zhang

Oct 1, 2020


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