Shanghai all set.
Tickets in hand
Travel visa stamped in passport....
In the evening before the take off to San Francisca the
family drove over to the airport in Toronto to pass the night there in a
hotel. The plane would start at five o’clock am – to stay over night near the
airport looked like the best chance to get at least a little bit of sleep.
Though probably none really slept… But at least one had the time to look around
and it would be easier in the morning. Steven was less nervous than the rest of
the family - by now he was full of gleeful anticipation. Everybody got about
around half past three in the morning, Steven said good bye and passed through
the customs around four o’clock and at five am the plane took off. It was
supposed to land in San Francisco five and an half hour later…The operative
world is“supposed” as the plane landed with some delay and only thanks to
Scotty who already waited for Steven and looked after the luggage the two made
it only just in time to the connecting flight to Shanghai. Rather upsetting for
the parents who followed the flight on computer – while the two in San
Francisco just had no time to get worried
The flight from San Francisco to Shanghai took 13 hours
and was rather uneventful luckily. Steven slept most of the time – not bad as
thanks to the time difference the plane did land in Shanghaion Monday morning
– the opening day of the summer camp. Steven and Scotty Burnett were the first
to arrive. The participants from New Zealandwere next.
After the opening buffet and the welcome speeches the
first practice sessions took place followed by a match youth players against
coaches which the youth players managed to win. Cricket was played as well and
Steven lost to a Chinese player.
The second day in the camp was a “touristic” day. The
youths visited the museum of natural history in Shanghai, the Yuyuang garden,
one of the most famous and most important ChineseGardens build between 1555 and
1600 and the showground of the Expo 2010.
The closure of the day should be a boat ride on Puijang
River but it had rained cats and dogs all day and in the evening a strong wind
was coming up – it was the forerunner of a typhoon. The weather forecast for
Shanghai predicted even a second one. The first one should hit Shanghaiin the
morning, the second, even worse one, should turn up in the afternoon. There
were flood warnings and evacuation plans. Another sleepless night for the
parents at home in Canadawho had to wait for the next call from their son as
due to the restrictions in China neither facebook nor twitter are
While the parents in Canada passed another uneasy night
the two Typhoons never really hit Shanghai. Even the boat trip could take
place and the youths admired the Shanghaiskyline by night. There still was
strong rain in the night but in the morning it was sunny and dry. Steven and
the other youths discovered the Shanghai shopping facilities and soon found a
way to spend their pocket money. The camp schedule started to be routine, the
youth started to make friends and at least Steven started to like the Chinese
food. Practice sessions alternated with competition and one even played some
One day the local press turned up.
The daily routine was regulated – Getting up was at 6:30,
Night-time peace at 10 pm. Whether it was really that strict we’ll hopefully
hear from Steven himself. After the evening meal some kind of program
followed, some days as “cultural experience”, some days just for fun. One
night was a night with Chinese music.
We hope Steven will tell us as well how the youth
communicated – the not Chinese youth to sure be sure didn’t speak the Chinese
Much too soon the days in Shanghai were over and with
slightly mixed feelings the young Canadian together with Scotty Burnett began
the flight back. This time they flew to Los Angeles where Steven hat to wait
more than five hours for his connecting flight to Toronto, it once again was
While Stevens’s family gladly received him in Toronto
the next Typhoon really hit Shanghai and over 250 000 people had to be