Lon­don camp helps shy boy gain con­fi­dence

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

When my 11-year old fam­ily friend Quan re­cently vis­ited Lon­don for his 15-day sum­mer school camp, I of­fered to take him out for a meal and show him a lit­tle more of the city’s at­trac­tions. Hav­ing seen Quan grow up as a shy kid over the years, I could only imag­ine how scared he would be, away from home for the first time, in a for­eign coun­try too. I had imag­ined that he would be cry­ing with home­sick­ness, but I was wrong.

When we met at Tower Bridge, I was pleas­antly sur­prised by the ma­ture and con­fi­dent young man stand­ing in front of me. He greeted me with a big smile,

This Day, That Year

Item­fromJuly13,1995,in Chi­naDaily:Ex­pertsin­spect thePear­lRiverin­abidto find­waysto­solveit­spol­lu­tion­prob­lem.

TheGuangzhougov­ern­mentinGuang­dong province­haslauncheda cam­paign­to­pro­tect­the city’sen­vi­ron­ment.

The rapid eco­nomic growth in the Pearl River Delta has brought not only a rise in liv­ing stan­dards, but also se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems.

After decades of ef­forts, progress has been made in clean­ing up the delta. re­as­sured his friends that he would be back with the group at the ap­pointed hour be­fore lead­ing me away from the tourist crowd.

“How did you get here this morn­ing?” I asked him. “Oh the jour­ney wasn’t bad at all,” he an­swered in a mat­terof-fact way, be­fore pro­vid­ing a full ex­pla­na­tion of how and where he and his friends took a bus, train and un­der­ground to ar­rive in Cen­tral Lon­don from the south­east com­muter town of Welling, where his home­s­tay fam­ily lived.

Quan’s mas­tery over Lon­don trans­port took me by sur­prise. In Bei­jing, he hardly trav­eled on pub­lic trans­port alone, as his mom and dad gave him rides to school and week­end ac­tiv­i­ties most of the time.

But liv­ing in Welling was a dif­fer­ent mat­ter. Of the three boys who stayed with their

In 2004, a group of 11 prov­inces and re­gions along the Pearl River Basin, in­clud­ing Guang­dong, Yun­nan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Hu­nan, Jiangxi, Fu­jian and Hainan, launched an ini­tia­tive to con­trol wa­ter pol­lu­tion.

In 2009, Guang­dong ear­marked 197 bil­lion yuan (429 bil­lion) for en­vi­ron­men­tal projects. The money will be spent over 11 years.

Last year, the prov­ince set the goal of turn­ing all nine cities in the Pearl River Delta green by 2020, build­ing the coun­try’s first con­glom­er­a­tion of State-level Dunkirk, host fam­ily, Quan was the youngest but also the best English speaker. Thus he took it as his re­spon­si­bil­ity to not only trans­late be­tween their home­s­tay mom and the other kids, but also to take care of his friends’ daily needs, in­clud­ing food, laun­dry and trans­port.

“The boy who slept in the bed above me was con­stantly homesick and cries a lot, so I spend a lot of time com­fort­ing him,” he told me.

Quan was not homesick. He felt lib­er­ated by his new­found free­dom in Lon­don, but he joked that one thing he will not miss is the “ter­ri­ble” food: daily sand­wiches at school, and fish and chips or pasta with tomato sauce cooked by his home­s­tay mom.

“I hated the food, but I ate them all, as I didn’t want to starve my­self,” Quan laughed heart­edly. for­est cities.

The prov­ince, a man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ant, plans to in­crease its for­est cov­er­age from 58.8 per­cent last year to 60.5 per­cent in 2020, ac­cord­ing to its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

By 2020, 520 for­est parks and 170 wet­land parks will be built in Guang­dong.

Three of the nine Pearl River Delta cities —

Quan’s ex­pe­ri­ences are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the thou­sands of Chi­nese chil­dren who travel over­seas each sum­mer for study abroad pro­grams. Their class­room stud­ies are im­por­tant, but surely the more im­por­tant lessons come from the school of life, as they dis­cover as­pects of them­selves in a for­eign land, away from home.

They will trea­sure the friend­ships, mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences and in­de­pen­dence that they gain from those trips for many years to come. The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween chil­dren like Quan, their teach­ers and host fam­i­lies will also help to ce­ment un­der­stand­ing be­tween China and many coun­tries around the world.

Con­tact the writer at ce­cily.liu@ mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com Guangzhou, Huizhou and Dong­guan — have been given State-level for­est city sta­tus by the State Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

To ob­tain the ti­tle, forests must ac­count for 35 per­cent of a south­ern city’s land.

JONATHAN SCIORTINO / PO­LARIS

Two artists work on a gi­ant mu­ral in New York to pro­mote Christo­pher Nolan’s World War II movie mil­i­tary evac­u­a­tion of the French re­gion in 1940. which de­picts the Bri­tish

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