Stop and smell the roses

As I stop and reflect on our time here in China I think of all the sites we have seen and things we have learned.  This week each morning our day begins with a walk to either the University or TCM ( traditional Chinese medicine hospital).  I notice as I walk around our surroundings are starting to look vaguely familiar.  We encounter many bicycle riders, people on mopeds, cars and a few motorcycles.  Many people have on masks that are decorated with pretty flowers and multiple different colors.  I have decided my favorite color mask is pink and Krisitn has a beautiful one that is pale in color.  It is quite noisey with everyone either honking their horns or honking on there bicycles. We have become accustomed to no longer be startled by the beeps but rather move over without the anxiety we once felt. I now realize these beeps are not one of anger or frustration but merely to say “I’m behind you, move over”.  I also have decided the best way to cross the street is to wait for the green walk person on the traffic light and wedge yourself inbetween the mortorcycles because this seems to be the safest place to position yourself when crossing the street. Unlike the U.S. I think the cars have the right of way, not the pedestrian, even in the walkway.  The traffic is congested here and image if  I were to  live here I  am convinced  the best way to travel is to walk or buy a moped because they seem to make better time than sitting in traffic.

On the sidewalks you will encounter many different vendors selling a variety of things. There are people with fruit stands, juices, newspapers, children’s toys,  and what I believe to be people with long strands of what appeared to have come from and old potato sack and they looks as if they are making brooms. My favorite of all is this elderly man we pass each time who has three bowls with water in them . One is filled with four baby gold fish ( yes, I count them every day) and my favorite of all is the other two buckets. One has baby turtles while the other has large ones.  This gentleman is here every morning and I am not sure how much money he makes but he he appears happy with this business of his. I can’t help to think  in the U.S. Selling turtles, little gold fish and other items such as drinks and toys would probably not be rewarding to most.

So in closing I would like to remind us all to stop, slow down and smell the roses.  Enjoy the beauty and surroundings. Don’t discount the small things in life and take time to enjoy what you truly love, appreciate what you have.

Thank you for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much I did writing this.



Our first day

Hello from China. We made it safe and sound.  Our first day was long and uneventful.  We landed on time with one small glitch. Some of our luggage took time to retrieve but once our luggage was in hand Dr. Shang and our guide named Tiger were waiting for us. We went to dinner and had our first lesson in using chopsticks. Some of us were more proficient than others. We then headed to the hotel where we had a much needed rest. Today starts the Beijing tour of the Forbidden city and Ti’an men square. We are very excited to start seeing some Chinese culture.

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Leaving tomorrow

IMG_0031Hi Everyone. My name is Barbara Smith and I work as a nurse in a small community hospital.  When I enrolled in the RN-BS program I never thought I would be given such a wonderful opportunity to travel to another country.  Throughout my career I have learned many new things, met and taken care of many people from different cultures and backgrounds.  I consider myself lucky to be part of a this group of students and professors travelling to China.  I have never travelled outside the US so this will be the first time for me.  As you can see, I am thrilled to be part of this trip and look forward to embracing all that China has to offer.  Not only will I have the opportunity to grow as a nurse, I will experience China’s culture and beauty as well as health care system. I am extremely excited to visit acute care facilities and universities to compare our system versus China’s. I’m excited to share our photos and experiences we are about to embark upon. To my co-student and professors…we will see each other soon.