Sunday, June 17, 2007

The mirror shows many things. Things that are...

A few other observations from the orphanage trip that do not fit into the general narrative:

1) on the way there, I noticed a group of four or so workers irrigating a soybean crop. Each worker held the hose at a different intersection, moving it as the last man watered the plants themselves. In the United States, this work would be done by a series of interconnected aluminum devices that roll across the field. A simple illustration of the price of labor in two countries influencing the decision to use labor over capital.

2) The entire time at the orphanage, I felt like we had returned to the panda preserve. Can everything in China be viewed as a tourist, if one only asks?

3) At one point, we visisted with a group of children, none of whom could have been more than two years old. As we left, we smiled and waved. "Byebye!" shouted the children. Come again? Yes, that's right. The children shouted not "zaijian", or "see you later" in Chinese. They shouted "byebye" in the Queen's English. So you tell me: teaching the kids a necessary business language early, or the orphanage conducting clever marketing by teaching a few key English phrases?

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