Lindea and I are attending the 2012 Rabbani Trust Baha'i Conference and per-conference events. 18 December we went to the Orange County Regional History Center for a glimpse into the history of development in Central Florida and 24 December went to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.

I'm in Vancouver for three activities — visit Dr. Javer, ENT specialist, to see if my sinus condition can be improved; attend a dinner of politically influential people of British Columbia to see if relationships can be developed to improve export activities and administrative contacts between local officials in China and BC; and work with my partner Robert Sun when he arrives 18 November to promote our responsibilities as the British Columbia agents for The 2nd China International Import Expo.

Our meeting (Trans-Pacific Enterprise Expeditors) with DAWA Media Group in Vancouver has led to an agreement to organize educational and professional development visits from Jiangsu, China, to British Columbia.

Completed registrations and reservations for attending the 2012 Rabbani Trust Bahá'í Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA, December 18-23, 2012.
The annual Rabbani Trust Conference is focused on Social and Economic Development.

Back in Kelowna after eight weeks in China to set up business partnerships and cultivate new relationships. Another day of two sunrises, two sunsets and many hours between waking up and going to sleep.

Today is another of those long days with 2 sunrises and 2 sunsets. I wake up in Shanghai in the morning, fly to Vancouver in the evening, Land in Vancouver around noon and go to bed in Kelowna in the evening all on the same day.

I spent two days on a trip to Sihong for the celebration of the crab festival as a guest of the government, invited by the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, Jiangsu and accompanied by Simon Sui, of the Jiangsu Global Sourcing Center. The event was surprisingly impressive considering I had never heard of the city before. The scale and level of the entertainment was spectacular. The entertainers included popular and nationally renowned personalities. Towards the end of the presentation the aisles were filled with police to ensure that the crowd remained somewhat orderly. They were constantly engaged in returning exuberant fans who wanted to approach the stage for pictures or a better view to their seats. I was sincerely impressed with the professional and courteous force that they used to accomplish the desired results. Here is a 4 MB clip from my mobile phone indicating the scale and appearance of the event.

View from apartmentThe past few weeks have been a few moments of intense business activities interspersed with days of leisurely living. The major commitments of formalizing the current business relationships and fulfilling the legal requirements for my involvement in international business entities have been completed or are in the final stages of development. My position in Whole World International Enterprises Limited is registered in Hong Kong and the company's banking accounts for financial transactions between China and Hong Kong have been established. The partnership with Robert Sun creating Trans-Pacific Enterprise Expeditors has been registered in British Columbia. It remains to be seen what fruit these creations will produce. I expect many years to pass before I can determine the benefits that may accrue from these involvements.

I have been asked to invite others to consider using these channels for investing in China and to seek involvement in Chinese international enterprises.

I have been invited to attend some China Council for Promotion of International Trade events and the TPEE partnership has been invited by CCPIT, Jiangsu, to act as an agent for the China International Import Expo organized by the CCPIT.

I also got my visa extended for a month and updated my resident registration with the Public Security Bureau.

I continued with my commitment to attend English Corner. The experience this evening at Gulou Square was a delightful meeting of minds and development of thoughts on many matters.

I consider it my social responsibility to provide an open opportunity for anyone to communicate with me for the purpose of improving their English free of any thoughts of financial costs.

It must be close to 200 times that I have attended a public English corner, plus many at universities, in China since my first visit in 2004; always welcomed and engaged by many — students, workers, unemployed, government officials, army personnel, police, professionals, educators, children, retired and even one girl this evening who said she does nothing — just waiting for the right opportunity.

This trip to China was initiated using an "F" visa to develop business interests. Many of the personal contacts developed both within and beyond China over the past eight years are now coalescing into business activities.

I do not intend to obviate the need nor diminish the importance of money, but it is crucial to understand that good personal relations and trust transcend financial interests when doing business with China.

When doing business with Chinese associates the relationships that bring wealth to the enterprise are very complex and far reaching. These relationships of trust can only be successfully developed during many years of patient interaction, considerate attention to interpersonal experience and careful study of the behavior required to accomplish tasks.

Lindea and I went rock hounding for a little more than a week. We spent two days with Walt in Ontario, Oregon, while he showed us a few prime sites to collect lace and moss agate, and thundereggs.

We then went to McDermitt, Nevada, to find more rock that included Gary green jasper, limb casts, agate and petrified wood.

Next we went to Davis Creek, California, for rainbow and pink lady obsidian which brought our vehicle weight close to the maximum allowed. We added a little petrified wood from Cedar Creek in the trailer and then headed home with a full load.

We were stopped for a short time at the border by a customs official who thought that moss agate and petrified wood were moss and wood rather than rocks. Once we were in the office and it was made clear that we were declaring only rocks and not moss and wood we were permitted to go. Lindea agreed to not use the words moss and wood again on our future returns to Canada. Fortunately she didn't say "thunder eggs" as that may have required that we also explain that we were not importing any form of animal eggs. I'll try to remember to tell her not to use that term also.

I've reached the point of installing the shingles on the roof. I've been somewhat slow completing the structure. The design, fitting of the door and making part of the wall beside the door swing open to allow access for wide machines took longer than expected to imagine, fit and fabricate; but the results are satisfactory.

We are building a shed for lapidary work in our back yard where Lindea will be spending a lot of time cutting and polishing rocks.

I've cut and bruised my hands a few times so far but no great bodily harm has been done. It's just the cost of an old body trying to do strenuous work.

Today the framing was partly done.

It's a beautiful summer with many sunny days and only a few very hot. This "motion panorama" of 3 shots was taken with a FinePix SL280 camera from our front deck.

Deer are coming into our back yard to snack on the rose bushes. Although this one showed a little curiosity while I was taking her picture, she resumed nibbling shortly thereafter. Lindea and I saw a big buck passing through our yard the following day.

We went on a 2 week rock hounding trip with our 4Runner and trailer.

We started with a visit to the Madras, OR, Pow-Wow. We went to Joe McDonald's Ranch and Ochs Ranch where the collecting costs $1 per pound.

Next we stayed at an RV park in Prineville, OR, while we went to Hampton Butte to collect petrified wood for free on BLM land. We were fortunate to find a few large pieces of green petrified wood with crystal inclusions that Lindea and I cut and polished. She was then persuaded to part with them at a rock show by a man who gave her $150. My plans to work with a piece will have to be delayed until we find more.

We then went to Glass Butte where we camped in the wilderness and collected obsidian. We met an obsidian knapper who showed us how to identify rainbow obsidian and where to find it. We collected some very nice samples. He gave Lindea a beautiful knife that he had knapped and showed us how to knap obsidian with the tool he had made.

Next on the trip was a visit to Jackpot, NV, for a few days of collecting jasper, petrified wood and onyx. By now the 4 Runner was getting heavily loaded with rock, but we continued on to Kemmerer, WY.

The price of stuff in Kemmerer shocked me. We paid $30 for a campsite without toilet or shower facilities (Madras was free and Jackpot was $18, both with nice showers). Our search for geodes at Blue Forest was also a failure. The site we found was thoroughly dug over and there was little to obtain with hand tools.

From there we went to the Dugway geode beds in Utah. We were fortunate to visit there while there was a lot of machine dug material available next to the Bughouse mineral claim. We collected some very nice samples. The trip to the site required driving on more than 100 miles of gravel road. The stones destroyed the plastic straps holding the brake wiring to the axle and the wiring to the right wheel broke and dragged on the ground. This was one of the many examples of the poor quality of materials and workmanship we have found in the Wolf Pup trailer made by by Forest River. I bought new materials in Elko, NV, of wire, pex tubing and stainless steel clamps to make permanent repairs to the brake wiring (less than $15 retail worth of materials which should be included on a unit valued at more than $15,000). I am now confident that the wiring will survive our future travels on gravel roads.

We returned to Jackpot where we found some limb casts and other agate pieces at Texas Spring and Goose Creek where there was also some nice jasper.

Our final stop was at Nyssa, OR, for the Thunderegg Days. We had a sociable visit and enjoyed meeting some nice folk. Lindea went on a field trip to Haystack Butte for some good jasper.

We attended the dinner where Lindea was among those retiring from School District #23.

My first activities following my return were to prepare our trailer for travel and fix Lindea's rock cutting and polishing equipment so that it will function properly for her retirement. I welded a steel frame on the back of the trailer to hold the spare tire and a ladder. I discovered that the used 24" rock saw that we purchased was wired for 230V. I rewired it to operate at 115V.

We visited one of the film studios in Pyongyang.

Pictures taken while visiting the DPRK.

The countries of the world need to work in peace with North Korea rather than seeking surrender.

The Americans and a few Europeans who chose to leave early were taken to the airport before we continued on to the International Friendship Exhibition. We visited this very large facility embedded in Myohyang-san mountain. It houses the state gifts to the leaders of the country which have been put on display as a contribution to the public.

The complex contains two buildings which give meaning to the word grandeur. They both had magnificent doors throughout.

The first one we visited appeared to be at least 150 x 300 metres on the main floor where we were shown some of the collections grouped by country. It is magnificently constructed of marble walls and granite floors throughout. On an upper floor is a souvenir shop and a balcony at the front looking out into the beautiful valley with nearby mountain peaks. On the balcony overlooking the valley I was asked to write my comments on the facility and while writing my picture was taken. After they read what I had written it was translated into Korean and I was told it would be kept along with the picture among the articles in the museum.

I don't know if the second building is as large as the first but it was large. The walls were painted plaster. In one of the rooms were cars that were given by the Soviet Union from 1950 - 1953. The earliest had a bulletproof passenger compartment with 5 cm thick windows. In another were two railway cars given to Kim Il Sung - one from the USSR and one from China.

Arrived safely by train T66 in Beijing to meet with the Korean Friendship Association delegation for the trip to the DPRK.

The delegates appear to be an interesting variety of people of all ages from many countries.

The officials are very nice.

The weather is fine.

Walked a bit much Monday; my feet hurt.

Attended the 2012 China International Import Expo. The best part of the trip was the conversation with a woman on the bus who was interested in learning English and kept me in conversation much of the time. The lunch provided was also very good. The whole experience was a struggle as I came down with a case of the flu.

I arrived safely in Shanghai 24 March and spent a good Sunday in conversation with a few people at English corner in People's Park. Some past acquaintances were renewed and some new ones created.

A friendly man named Johnny was a highlight of the day, as was a short conversation with an 81 year old doctor.

Took train G7080 to Nanjing.

"At the outset of every endeavour, it is incumbent to look to the end of it. Of all the arts and sciences, set the children to studying those which will result in advantage to man, will ensure his progress and elevate his rank. Thus the noisome odours of lawlessness will be dispelled, and thus through the high endeavours of the nation's leaders, all will live cradled, secure and in peace."
~... Bahá’u’lláh