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From the Desk of the CEO Jill Raycroft

It's back to reality today - arriving home from China on Wednesday evening after about 27 hours of travel time has been an adjustment but the experience was completely worth it! Long time Chamber members may be aware we offer travel opportunities as a benefit of membership, but for some of our newer members - I should explain this trip was my chance to "inspect" first-hand the program we offer to you with regard to this China trip as a guest of Citslinc along with Chamber representatives from from BC, Washington State, as far south as Alabama and a few colleagues from Upstate New York. I must also mention I had the absolute pleasure of traveling with Emily Cowan - our neighbouring PEC Chamber leader.

Not only did we have the chance to discover a country with a history stretching back as far as the Great Wall is long - but was able to meet some amazing people along the way. And yes, I climbed the stairs to the Wall (no - did not stand at the top - that's a really, really long way) and perhaps ate a chicken foot (maybe just one toe). China is a country of some mystery; the socialist influence but vast capitalist nature of their economy is a bit of a paradox - their reputation for a massive population and pollution is what we think we know and I was so pleasantly surprised to see how both are managed.  

The landscape of the countryside infiltrates the highways with rose filled flower boxes, boulevards along the main thoroughfares and the greenery of vines concealing the concrete of overhead passes abounds. Gardens, palaces, lakes and temples were featured on our tour but there was no question these play a huge part in every location - between the compounds of skyscrapers that house the millions that live in a single city.

I would love to share more of this journey with you and Emily and I will be hosting a China Information night on May 9 - so please save the date - more info coming soon. Even if you're not ready to take advantage of this incredible offer, you might enjoy hearing more about the trip!  (Does anyone remember when travel slide shows used to happen??)