My apologies for being absent from blogging and this time it wasn't due to the internet. More so, it's been that not much new has happened other than the usual Shanghai shuffle.
I am however, happy to report that I have just returned from a trip to Anhui Province with the Heart to Heart Foundation (http://www.heart2heartshanghai.net). I joined the trip to help deliver donations collected in Shanghai and to see the work that Heart to Heart does with the Chinese community.
We went to the northwest of Anhui to Meng Cheng County in the Bo Zhou Prefecture and to Bo Zhou City. Bo Zhou has a population of about 3 million and is one of the biggest producers of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is also where Hua Mulan (from the cartoon) originated and where general anathaesia was invented.
It was a 10 hour bus ride to Meng Cheng, 2 hours to Bo Zhou and then 12 hours back to Shanghai. Lots of rest stops with some that I'd really like to erase from my memory!
We visited three schools and seven children who had sponsored heart surgery 2-3 years previously through the foundation. The trip allowed Karen, the foundation's director, to check in on the families, to conduct a follow-up with the children on their health progress and to distribute donations that the foundation have collected over the months.
Here are photos from the school visits. I am waiting to receive the photos of the kids and will post them once I do.
For me, the trip was very interesting and insightful as not many people can access a village school for a look-see. Our trip had to be pre-approved by the relevant authorities and we had an official government escort party with us to each location. The county leaders and media were also there each step of the way.