Some friends have been asking about an update on the whereabouts and activities of my sons, Brandon and Chris.
Brandon is continuing to live on Maui, Hawaii – working for a roofing company five-plus days a week, and a restaurant two nights a week. He’s never had a problem with work, always willing to do whatever it takes to put bread on the table and keep the rent current. He’s got a ton of friends (as you can see from the photo at right), and when he’s not camping around the islands he’s surfing. One of my favorite things to do is meet up with him at one of the awesome surf breaks on the island (Honolua Bay, Ironwood, S-Turns, etc.), and while I’m watching the sun set I’m also watching him catch wave after wave. I try to photo and video every time he’s up. I’m making a short DVD for him – I’m taking it to him on March 18th. He’s a blast to watch, and the smile on his face after an hour or two of surfing can light up a room.
Chris is still living in China – Beijing actually. He’s continuing his studies in Mandarin. His loves include camping and riding his motorcycle off-road (it doubles as his daily mode of transportation). He’s super active in the “ex-pat” community (ex-patriots – people from other nations – living in and around Beijing). Beijing continues to prepare for this summer’s Olympics, so it’s bustling with construction and modernization projects. When the Chinese government encouraged the nation to become the next economic super-power (surplanting the US and the EC), the people took to the challenge in amazing ways, and with amazing results. It’s incredible, watching this country of 1.5 billion people change from crippling communism to energized Chinese-style capitalism. Chris is right in the middle of all this growth and change, and he loves it.
One cool thing that Chris told me and Brandon about recently was one of his off-road adventures in north-central China. Two of his buddies were traveling with him; the three were traveling pretty close to the Great Wall, taking in the sights. Suddenly they stopped dead in their tracks! They had inadvertently trespassed onto a military base. They were surrounded by soldiers with AK’s, being asked what their business was. Since they were foreigners, the soldiers weren’t kidding around. They were let go, a little shaken but with an awesome adventure story.
I’ll be seeing Brandon and Chris again soon, and I’m really excited about it. The boys are meeting me in Barcelona, Spain – and we’ll be together for about three weeks, exploring the Mediterranean, and ending up in Prague (the Czech Republic)! We’re planning the last part of the trip now, going from Venice, Italy, through Austria, to Prague. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?