Arrived at Laishan Airport in the southwest of Yantai and my bags arrived promptly and with no visible damage. I’m traveling with two large bags and a small cabin roller. Luckily, as in most airports outside the US, there are loads of free carts in the baggage claim area big enough for all my luggage. I loaded them and headed for the lobby. I spotted my coordinator Jack Liu and trundled his way.
Years ago, Jack must have been one of the incipient capitalists that the Chinese tagged as “Men With Briefcases”. Meaning (as close as I can come to the definition) men who were snagging every chance and exploring every opportunity to turn the Chinese economy into a money-making proposition. We call them entrepreneurs.
Jack was (and maybe still is) the local contact for the New Zealand Company, Global Volunteer Network, which sponsored my first trip to Yantai. He’s building a new business called Sinovolunteer, and you can see his website at sinovolunteer.com. The site is intended to place teaching volunteers, people wanting to study in China, and those who just want to learn Mandarin. (The site is more ambitious than that, but that’s enough – there’ll be more about Jack later.).