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When you’re married to one Sicilian, and mother to another, it’s easy to become infected by their passion for all things Italian.
Earlier this fall, Tony and Giovanni were invited to present three food demonstrations in the Nordic Kitchen at the annual Norsk Hostfest celebration in Minot. Norsk Hostfest is North America’s largest Scandinavian festival, and some of Scandinavia’s most popular chefs were scheduled to appear in the Nordic Kitchen.
Smoked or cured salmon is almost as popular in Italy as it is in Norway, so our recipe for Norwegian gravlax was a natural fit. For the third presentation, I suggested that he create his own version of a Norwegian meatball, an idea which Gio just loved.
Tony researched extensively to learn the secret to making authentic Norwegian meatballs, and discovered what many of us who were born and raised here already know: Norwegians are heavy users of exotic spices, particularly nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
Contrary to popular belief, allspice (also known as Jamaican pepper), is not a blend of various spices but is, instead, a legitimate spice.
Meatballs are popular in many cultures, and Tony was surprised to discover that they are a common food in the Norwegian diet. The meatballs alone were delicious, but it’s the sauce, or gravy, that really makes them special. Gio and Tony’s Norwegian Meatballs are easy to make, utterly delicious, and authentically Norwegian. Shape the meatballs to desired size (we recommend making balls 1-inch in diameter, which makes about 30 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes to finish cooking. Mix the meatball mixture by hand for at least five minutes to enhance the texture and bind the ingredients together. For a gluten-free version, use a slurry of 2 tablespoons corn starch and 2 tablespoons water instead of the roux to thicken the gravy. This entry was posted in Appetizers, Christmas Holidays, Cooking with Kids, Meat, Norwegian, Party Foods, Sunday Dinner and tagged authentic Norwegian meatballs, Gio and Tony, Norsk Hostfest, North Dakota food blog, recipe, The Lost Italian, Tony Nasello by Sarah Nasello. Why people eat what they do and how they prepare it is an important means of studying a culture. We rode to the port in a small shuttle that was crammed to the rafters with a wedding party from Indianapolis.
Built in 2003 and registered in Hamilton Bermuda, this sixteen deck floating hotel is a beauty. After the life boat drill, we dropped our vests off at the cabin and headed for deck # 15 and one of the more pleasant rituals, a drink at departure. We walked down to deck # 5 and the Bordeaux dining room, our assigned trough for the duration. A glass of Cabernet was followed by Spring rolls, mushroom soup, caesar salad, a seafood in pastry medley and a delicious swiss torte for dessert. Late afternoon found us in the deck 14 gym again for a 45 minute workout on the weights and exercycle. The ship was motoring on a Southwest course through the Windward passage between Cuba and Cap Dame headland of Hispanola bound for Aruba. After breakfast, we read for a time in our cabin and then settled in for a delicious hour long nap. It was windy and humid out so we walked top the deck seven Princess Theater and settled in to watch a€?The Duchessa€? for two hours. We cleaned up for dinner and enjoyed a Martini on the balcony, watching the sea around us and relaxing before dinner. At seven P.M we walked along the deck seven interior promenade and enjoyed the ebb and flow of guests coming to and from dinner. We walked along the main drag and admired the prosperous looking facades of the business section.
From the Park, we walked back through the busy streets of Orangestad until we found a small internet cafe. We were standing topside as the Island Princess cast off her lines and eased out of Orangestad, bound for Cartegena, Columbia.
After the lecture, we hit the deck 14 gym for an houra€™s workout with weights and exercycles.
The school system in Columbia is graduated and tuition is charged according to certain professions.
It now is a city of over one million souls, many of whom we were to discover to our dismay, were aggressive street vendors bent on draining every tourist of any money that they held on their person, willingly or not.
The fortress itself is huge and solid, like El Moro in Havana or those in Puerto Rico and St. After again running the gauntlet of the slum dog vendors, we reboarded the bus and drove off through the busy streets. At the hilltop, outside the monastery, we again waded through the slum dog vendors to get inside the ancient grounds.
Just inside the old citya€™s walls, we stopped at what had been both a jail house and a soldiers barracks.
An imposing statue of Columbia's founding father, Simon Bolivar, sits astride a horse at the center of the shaded square. The ubiquitous slumdogs buzzed around us like angry mosquitoes on our line of march to the Church of Pedro Claver.
From the church we walked over to a restored limestone building called the Naval Museum, though why we could not discern . We waded through the obnoxious slumdogs one more time to get back to the bus and its air conditioned comfort. We were tiring and mildly dehydrated, so we retreated to our room to read for a time( Double Cross- James Patterson), cool off and relax. After a bit, we cleaned up in the cabin, dressed for dinner and walked down to the deck six Provence Dining room. A glass of Cabernet, smoked salmon appetizers, tomato soup, caesar salad, sole Florentine and chocolate cake made for another wonderful meal. The process was repeated twice more until the Princess sailed into the manmade lake Gatun and motored to its center. The Canal had been built in the early 1900a€™s, completed in 1914 at a cost of $387 Million dollars by the United States, after a failed French effort. We walked topside for an hour enjoying the view of the locks and Lake Gatun and marveling at the engineering involved in creating this man mad river across Central America.
The ship dispatched several tenders full of tour groups headed for rail and bus tours in Panama. We settled for a breakfast of kippers, omelets and fruit in the Horizons Cafe on deck 14, then returned to our cabin to read for a bit and catch a one hour nap.
We changed into our gym clothes and hit the deck 14 gym for an hours workout with exercycles and weights. We sat for a time drinking an icy cold Heinekena€™s beer and watching native dancers do a rhythmic and enchanting Calypso and singers belt out the haunting a€?Day Oha€? a Caribbean favorite about banana pickers. Soon after, the Island Princess slipped her lines and edged gracefully from her berth to follow the Lyrica. We followed a crew member off the ship to the wharf area where we got on to a large Swiss Tours bus for the trip. First a€?discovereda€? and named by Christopher Columbus in 1502, Costa Rica (Rich Coast in Spanish) had declared her independence from Spain in 1821.
As the bus emerged from the warm and humid drizzle of the rain forest, the air began to clear. As we traversed the mountains at the 8,000 foot level, we entered Trillaurillo National Park. The central court of the museum is flowered with cacti plants and bougainvillea and has a vista of the mountains and valley beyond. From the restaurant, we traversed the busy city streets, They were clogged with automobile traffic. The driver pulled along the roadside so we could all look up and watch a three toed sloth hanging from a roadside tree. As the bus descended back into the rain forest of the coastal areas, we could see large puddles where the rain had fallen. Escargot, corn chowder, salad, pasta with mussels and an apple torte, accompanied with a glass of Cabernet, made for another pleasant dining experience. After our swim, we changed into our workout gear and hit the gym for an hour of weights and the exercycle, still trying to win the caloric battle. After sitting topside sunning and swimming, we changed and sat down in the Bordeaux dining room for lunch. We had a glass of cabernet on our balcony and read for a time, enjoying the lazy day at sea in the late afternoon sun. We walked topside for a time after dinner, enjoying the night air and the moonlight sparkling on the sea. From Spanish class, we hit the gym again for another hour workout on the weights and excercylce. It was our last night aboard and our small cabin looked like a clothes bomb as we packed for out departure. It was late and we needed to finish packing our bags, so we returned to the cabin and completed out task.
We found some coffee topside and walked the deck observing the hustle and bustle of a great ship entering port.
Once a daily sight on every British street, a dwindling but resilient band of milkmen still go out at the crack of dawn to deliver bottles of fresh milk to the nation's doorsteps. The overwhelming majority of milk used to be sold at the front door until the supermarket revolution all but wiped out this very British institution. But by selling more than milk and embracing the Internet, the few thousand remaining milkmen, including Neil Garner, have breathed new life into the cherished tradition.
The 57-year-old has driven his milk float - an electrified, open-sided delivery van - through towns and villages in the dead of night since 1994, placing glass pint (half-litre) bottles of milk on the doorstep ready for when customers wake for their morning cereal and cups of tea. It's not just breakfast staples like tea bags, bread, butter, eggs and bacon that Garner now has on the back of his float. In 1980, 89 percent of all the milk bought in Britain was delivered to the door, according to trade association Dairy UK. At the depot in nearby Watford, milkmen load up crates, containing 20 one-pint bottles each, before heading into the cold at around 2 am. Garner's no-frills electric milk float is slow and exposed to the elements, but the brisk walker likes the ease of hopping on and off for his 200 to 250 deliveries. The early drops are in pitch darkness, Garner needing a torch to find his way up the garden paths. Some customers leave rolled-up notes with instructions such as "no milk today" or "one extra pint, please", but most now go online.
A pint of milk, typically 50 pence ($0.70, 65 euro cents) at a supermarket, costs 81 pence. He relies on the few other people around to check his timing, including a man he sees getting on his bicycle each morning.
The last delivery is done at 7:30 am, before Garner returns through rush-hour traffic to unload his empties at the depot. Not Eddie Platt, a British expatriate who single-handedly took on the scourge in Marseille, the southern French city where he took up residence in 2010. The idea is simple, if not particularly sexy: Participants post selfies on a social network - Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - each time they pick up a piece of litter and put it in the rubbish bin. Ten tonnes of rescued rubbish later, the effort has cyber fans around the world from Buenos Aires to New York, and TV and newspapers are hounding Platt for interviews. In fact Platt shot his founding litter-binning selfie in Leeds' sprawling Roundhay Park, one of Europe's biggest city parks. The Yorkshireman says he does not self-identify as green but simply as a concerned citizen. One Sunday Platt - who has only an approximate mastery of French - led some 350 Marseillais on a climb up the city's tallest hill, topped by the imposing basilica Our Lady of the Guard, for a clean-up operation. Platt is hard to miss with his infectious smile, greying beard and backwards baseball cap, not to mention his towering height - he is six foot three (1.90 meters).
Legre, who says he is "100 percent Marseillais", specializes in "viral marketing" and set Platt up with his social networking tools. Platt has had a varied career, working as a restaurant manager in England for "about 10 years, to make some money", then as a sales rep for a high-tech firm, before training to teach English abroad. When it comes to growing its investment in China, what Mark Wiseman, president and chief executive of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has in mind is China's share of the global gross domestic product. Wiseman, who manages one of the world's largest pension funds with total assets worth $215.7 billion at of the end of 2015, intends to match the fund's presence in China with the share of the Chinese economy in the world, which will represent somewhat between 25 to 30 percent of the global GDP by 2040. The CPPIB has deployed about $10 billion investment in China so far, which accounts for about 4.3 percent of the fund's total assets globally, he said.
He said he intends to grow the fund's investment in China significantly in the coming years by tapping into the rise of consumer demand and building up cross-asset portfolios that cover sectors including real estate, logistics, infrastructure and private and public equities market.
One of its recent moves in China is the $500 million cornerstone investment in Postal Savings Bank of China Co, which is planning an initial public offering. The CPPIB also manages an investment quota of $1.2 billion in the Chinese equities market under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program. What is your assessment of the Chinese economy and how will the economic transformation in the country affect your investment strategy?
We are looking at the big trends, including what is happening to the demographics and to the rise of consumer demand and how is the economy shifting away from inefficient State-owned industries to having a larger proportion of economic growth coming from more highly productive service sector. What sectors in China do you want to increase the fund's exposure to and what sectors do you plan to exit?
How do you see the volatilities of the Chinese stock market and the way the government stepped in to stem the market rout? Is there any Canadian experience on the pension fund reform that you think China can learn from?
We are very lucky in Canada that in 1997 there was a fundamental reform of the national pension scheme, which was led by then finance minister Paul Martin who tried to put in place a system that will be sustainable for generations. I think it is better to start earlier to look at the structure of the pension system and understand that you want to be in the position to support the retirees for a long period of time. The good news is that China has time given its economic growth and the profile of the population. What is the difference between managing a pension fund and managing a regular investment firm? In many respects, we operate like an investment company because we have one client that is the national pension system. We know very clearly our job is to make risk-adjusted return in order to pay the pensions of the 19 million people. Germany's ranks of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially so-called hidden champions, have been key to drawing more Chinese investment, and the trend shows no signs of abating, according to Hermann Simon, one of the country's most influential business thinkers. Hidden champions are often market leaders, either worldwide or within the continent they are based in, with revenues below 5 billion euros ($5.55 billion). Simon, chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global consultancy firm founded in Bonn, says Chinese investors, unlike some US firms, see acquisitions in Germany as long-term strategic investments.
An Ernst & Young report in February shows Germany was the most attractive destination in Europe for Chinese investment last year, with 36 acquisitions. Simon, 69, believes this trend will continue thanks to Germany's many hidden champions, a term he coined to describe relatively unknown SMEs that are the backbone of a nation's economy and have for many years sustained Germany's leading position in exports. Many German SMEs are leading niche markets globally and are valued below several billion euros, he says, which makes them natural targets as the majority of Chinese acquisitions in Europe are limited in size, and Chinese industrial companies have a strong sense of affinity or preference for German SMEs.
China is one of few nations with so many entrepreneurs that understand the concept of hidden champions, Simon says.
One prominent example he cites is a Chinese chemical products owner whom he met during a recent visit to Shandong province. On another occasion, when Simon was giving a presentation in Shanghai, he noticed the hidden champions concept was met with great interest. There is a largely positive attitude in German business circles toward Chinese investors, according to Simon, who says that, unlike some US companies that acquired European enterprises and focused on maximizing short-term gains before looking to offload them again, Chinese buyers tend to see such purchases as strategic investments. The Chinese investment in Germany is less aggressive compared with the Americans, he says, adding that Chinese buyers in Germany behave in a moderate and reasonable way. Simon acknowledges there is concern in Germany about more Chinese investment pouring into the country, but says: "When General Motors took over Opel in 1929, or Ford built a huge automobile plant in Cologne in 1930, people said we would be dominated and conquered by the Americans, and that we would be a colony of the US. He believes Chinese investment can bring advantages for both sides and refutes the notion that Chinese companies are simply trying to extract know-how from Germany to transfer to China. In addition, he says, Chinese investment means German SMEs can gain a "stronger capital base" and access to the Chinese market. Simon, who in an online poll by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper was named the second-most influential management thinker in German-speaking countries, says German SMEs are in general becoming more open due to internationalization. Although he believes Germany's hidden champions can be excellent role models for Chinese companies, Simon says most would still prefer to avoid a takeover if possible. They combine specialties in products and know-how with global sales and marketing, and serve the target markets through subsidies. They are massive innovators, and the effectiveness of their R&D beats that of large companies by a factor of five. Their greatest strength is their closeness to customers, while their strategies are value oriented, not price oriented. According to Zhai, one of the reasons is that "China soon will become the largest source of travelers" for France outside Europe. Outside Europe, China was France's second biggest tourist market in 2013 after the United States, with 1.7 million visitors and $681 million of revenue, Xinhua News Agency reported. Currently the major museums in Paris provide instructions in Chinese, and Zhai said the conditions are still being improved. French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said in August last year that "the goal we have set with our Chinese officials is to quickly reach 5 million (Chinese tourists)".
Zhai noted that the French side has responded proactively by offering more convenience to Chinese tourists. Welcoming 84.1 million tourists in 2014, France confirmed its position as the world's most visited country. Zhai noted that in the past, the United States and Japan accounted for a major portion of the travelers, while the number of Chinese tourist has surged rapidly in recent years. The ambassador said that the country faced great security challenges last year, including two deadly terrorist attacks that shocked the world. Last year, Beijing worked closely with Paris to make the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris a success.
Zhai said he was impressed last November by the unbeaten French spirit and the country's commitment to hosting such an event after a deadly terrorist attack that killed more than 100.
Although the number of Chinese tourists going to France dropped after the attacks, it was a minor dip compared with other countries, Zhai said. The ambassador said the services provided by France for Chinese travelers have been improving, while "public security remains an issue" as cases of theft and robbery targeting Chinese travelers have been reported frequently.
Due to the large number of Chinese tourists, the number of such cases is daunting and this indicates "a demanding task for the consular protection staff of our embassy and consulates", Zhai said. Zhai noted that the French have made progress in boosting public security, including increasing cameras to monitor downtown areas and strengthening police patrols. But he thinks major improvement will not be achieved overnight because of the quickly rising number of Chinese tourists. Cao believes respect can be earned, and families will remember the good service, which is the result of years of practice.
His workplace, Changshu Crematory, employs 10 cremators and cremates about 10,000 bodies each year. He is also satisfied with his salary, saying that the pay, more than 100,000 yuan ($15,300) each year is "above average in Changshu".
Charmed by a painting of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor on the wall of his parents' sitting room in Dublin, Ireland, young Goff didn't know he would later be in charge of the place that gained China a spot in the Lonely Planet's list of world's greatest bookshops. He is talking quickly in the Beijing Bookworm, boxed in a building with notable pink walls outside, while inside red lanterns hang high from the ceiling and great music floats in the air. Hailed as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world by many international media, it has been a "home away from home" to many. Goff's efforts not only include being hospitable to customers and partners, and being passionate about books, he has to "be innovative" as he's managing brick-and-mortar bookshops in the digital age. The community-based Bookworm has year-round programs, and an annual literary festival that just wrapped up on Sunday. This year's Bookworm Literary Festival featured 180 writers and thinkers from 30 countries in 300 events.
In the past decade, Goff has witnessed China become "more accessible than ever before" and with an increasingly attractive publishing market. Calling China "one of those major countries an international writer can't miss to visit", he advised writers to come in with open eyes and open ears, taking in as much as they can. Goff was born in 1968 in Dublin into a family that "had no connection with China" besides that painting in the sitting room. After graduation with a degree in journalism from Rathmines College in 1992, he worked for several newspapers that brought him to Africa and central Europe.
He then arrived in Beijing "with no friends and no relatives here", stationed somewhere in the Haidian district where he studied Chinese and got an apartment before looking for a job. Beginning in 2002, he and Alexandra Pearson, daughter of a British diplomat, started to manage a big English language book collection that became the foundation of the current Bookworm. Goff went to Chengdu, Sichuan province, to develop a Bookworm branch in 2006, and later another one in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in 2007.
Goff took over part of Pearson's responsibility as she left for home in 2013, and since then has been based mostly in Beijing. And though he doesn't travel as much as previously, he still chooses to go to literary festivals around the world, including his top holiday destinations of Toronto, London and Jaipur.
I'm looking for people who write stories that are based in today and really reflect young Chinese writers' experiences of the society they're living in.
People around world still have more historical views of the country-based on the movies and books they have experienced.
I always come in at lunchtime at the Bookworm, and in the afternoon, do some organizational work with the team. Investment is a personal and lonely experience, but becoming a startup entrepreneur can be even lonelier.
Wei Min, founder and CEO of Yunhuo Technology, says people tend to overestimate their ability when they have a successful career path in a big company. The one thing I don't like about it is the fact that I seldom have the time or money to enjoy things. I live in a seaside villa in Hong Kong and I own a yacht, so it's not that I don't have the money for five-star hotels. Also, most people who enjoy a good start to their business tend to underestimate the difficulties that lay ahead. I was born into a fairly ordinary family in Dalian, which is on the northeast coast in Liaoning province. So far, I've invested about 10 million yuan in the initial development of the app, and I expect to spend another 30 million yuan on marketing.
Our app is a platform that brings together job seekers and local employers looking to fill part-time positions. Although this life is much harder than just going sailing on my yacht, becoming an entrepreneur is a lifestyle full of challenges, charm and growth opportunities.
Zhuo Qiang has been involved in wildlife conservation in Kenya for five years, but he says he still gets odd looks from locals and tourists when they see him reinforcing bomas, which are predator-proof cowsheds used in the Maasai Mara's Ol Kinyei Conservancy.
Zhuo, who started the fund in 2011 using his savings and donations from friends, says that view has remained largely unchanged despite the visible contributions in recent years by Chinese to conservation across the continent. In China, celebrities have gone a long way to raising awareness about wildlife protection in Africa.
Yao Ming, the retired basketball star, visited Kenya in 2013 and appeared in the documentary, End of the Wild, which captured the threat posed by poachers to elephant populations. The former NBA All-Star is expected to return to the country for a star-studded summit to promote the issue in Nairobi on April 29, joining Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, musician Elton John, US business leaders George Soros and Howard Buffett, and several heads of governments in Africa. Celebrities help to increase the visibility of a campaign, says Edwin Wanyonyi, chief strategist at Kenya Wildlife Services.
This certainly appears to have been the case in China: When the Zimbabwean government announced in September that poachers had killed 85 elephants in a wildlife sanctuary by putting cyanide in their watering holes, many Chinese took to the Internet to condemn the act and call for tough penalties for the perpetrators. According to WildAid, a US-based NGO, poaching has fallen by 80 percent in recent years thanks to the work of governments and wildlife groups. Wanyonyi says China has made significant contributions to elephant conservation in the country. During a three-day visit to Nairobi in 2014, Premier Li Keqiang pledged $10 million to support African wildlife protection. China and Kenya have also made significant progress in tightening surveillance of entry points for illegal ivory, he says.
Moreover, the Chinese government's ban on the import of illegal ivory has been a major step.


Mara Conservation Fund founder Zhou, who is known locally as "Simba", has commended his country's government for participating in Kenya's conservation efforts. However, he adds, "For wildlife conservation to be successful more Chinese NGOs need to be established to champion the cause. He says more investigations are needed globally to understand and effectively curb the illegal trade of ivory and rhino horn, and admits he has reservations about the forthcoming CITES meeting in South Africa that will discuss proposals to legalize the trade.
Zhuo says a strong international mechanism independent from political divisions, along with a clear consensus on law and enforcement, would boost efforts to halt the trade. Those who criticize China's involvement in Africa's development would do well to keep in mind how the partnerships already have helped African nations achieve some of their key medium-term goals, says the man running Kenya's long-term development plan. A number of years ago, as the old millennium became a new one, many countries were facing basic challenges and needed to accelerate progress. Wainaina says he thinks Kenya would have fallen short in meeting such targets if traditional funding sources alone had been involved. Alluding to critics who call China a neocolonial power in Africa, Wainaina says: "China is a true friend and partner.
More opportunities were presented when the Chinese government announced a $60 billion fund during the Forum on China Africa Cooperation in December in Johannesburg, South Africa. President Xi Jinping said in Johannesburg: "China has decided to provide a total of $60 billion of funding support.
Wainaina says this partnership can be sustainable if projects have contracts that emphasize Africa's needs. He believes that history has buoyed Kenya's confidence in Chinese firms, including heavy Chinese involvement in such projects as the $3.2 billion Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway to be completed this year, the $26 billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor, expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and modernization of Mombasa port. Such projects have converged well with the Belt and Road Initiative spearheaded by China that, among other things, earmarks the port of Mombasa as a key African hub.
While noting that the Chinese firms have a leg-up in clinching government contracts, he discounts the notion that the Asian giant steers Africa's development agenda.
To achieve mutual and sustainable growth, he advises African countries to conceive goals that are achievable and then engage China as a partner. When Liu Xianfa, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, addressed the Vision 2030 board on China and the implementation of the development plan, an important lesson taken away from the meeting is the need to translate the roadmap "into Chinese", Wainaina says. Wainaina adds, however, that the relationship is complex, with many levels, and at times there are disagreements. But being a strong believer in the free market, he says laws should not be used to protect local content at the expense of quality. He applauds Ethiopia for enforcing high taxes on imports while encouraging quality manufacturing of leather goods, and believes other African countries could use this example. He says he thinks the partnership between Kenya and China will continue to be government-led.
China is increasingly providing mutually beneficial growth opportunities for less-developed countries and economies hit by the current debt crisis, according to veteran diplomat Zhou Xiaoming. Such opportunities, he says, are being created via multinational institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank (formerly BRICS Bank), and organizations like the United Nations. Veteran diplomat Zhou Xiaoming says China's experience, resources and technology can be shared with other developing countries. China is participating in long-term development programs at the UN, especially to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year, following the country's major contribution to the Millennium Development Goals, which led to tremendous global growth between 2000 and 2015, he says. China showed its support for the new goals when President Xi Jinping attended the UN General Assembly that launched them in September and announced a number of major initiatives, including a South-South Cooperation Fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a sweeping sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years. Between 1990 and 2015, more than 470 million people in China were lifted out of extreme poverty, according to data from the UN Development Programme. As the Sustainable Development Goals aims to lift another 1 billion worldwide out of poverty by 2030, China's experience, resources and technology can be shared with other developing countries, Zhou says. He says China's contribution toward poverty reduction is twofold: "We still have about 100 million people in China living below the poverty line, so we need to eliminate poverty domestically. China's support of a UN resolution for debt-burdened developing countries last year helped in restructuring their debt in a way that allowed their economies to grow in a sustainable way, Zhou says. Such a clause is beneficial when considered within the context of the Argentinean debt crisis, which has for the past decade seen the country battle a small group of hedge funds that refused to join a deal it had agreed with more than 90 percent of creditors. The deal would have allowed Argentina to pay back its debt at huge discounts, but the hedge funds refused and took the matter to court in New York, consequently prompting a new default by the country.
The UN resolution, passed with 136 supporting votes, including that of China, was met with opposition from creditor nations such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and the European Union abstained as a whole.
China, while still a developing nation, has become a global player in the world economy and a major international lender.
In addition to supporting the UN resolution, China is also exempting the debt of outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries, as announced by Xi at the UN assembly meeting last year.
Zhou, who served as minister counselor in the economic and commercial office at the Chinese embassy in London before taking up his post in Geneva last year, has seen China's rapid emergence onto the world stage through his extensive career as a diplomat. In particular, over the past five years, he says there has been tremendous growth in UK-China relations, especially in financial services, property, high-technology manufacturing, creative industries, energy and infrastructure. He attributes the growth to the UK economy being open to foreign businesses, and China's enhanced capability to meet the UK's financing needs. Looking ahead, Zhou believes China will become further integrated in the world economy as it takes a leadership role in reviving global growth. Omara Portuondo's tiny frame belies the sheer power of a sonorous voice that made her a star in Cuba well before she found global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club around the age most people start claiming their pensions. Even as the group winds down with their final farewell "Adios Tour", the 85-year-old, who has been performing since she was just 15, insists she is not ready to hang up the mic.
It has been 20 years since a twist of fate led American guitarist Ry Cooder and World Circuit's Nick Gold to Cuban star Juan de Marcos Gonzez, who encouraged a coterie of the island's musical talent - some out of retirement - to join together and create a record. Crafted in just six days, the album Buena Vista Social Club - named after the long-closed members' only venue in Havana - sold millions, secured a Grammy, and along with Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated film documenting its production, thrust Cuban music onto the international stage.
It also exported a vibrant idea of Cuba to a world from which it had been largely closed off since the 1959 revolution and the Cold War. De Marcos Gonzez has previously credited the band for helping begin the thaw in relations between US and Cuban administrations, by re-igniting America's curiosity about the island. It was a situation Portuondo says "none of us could ever have imagined" when they started out, describing the leader as "very warm and welcoming". Early this week Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba since 1928, with the White House describing the trip as a "Berlin Wall" moment.
Portuondo, who has attended parties thrown by the Castros, is circumspect about the fact Obama and leader Raul Castro have been in secret discussions on a rapprochement, or what it means for ordinary Cubans: "Politics is for the politicians.
She dismisses criticism the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon has created a caricature of Cuban music or that there is a disconnect between what islanders listen to and what is performed for tourists.
The 1997 Buena Vista Social Club album gave some veteran Cuban musicians a new lease of life: Ibrahim Ferrer, a great star in the 1940s, had fallen on hard times and was shining shoes in Havana to earn extra cash, while pianist Ruben Gonzalez, who helped pioneer the cha-cha and the mambo dances, had retired after struggling with arthritis, his piano riddled with termites, when they were called up to join the group. But with so many of the stars in their twilight years when the band began - death and illness has taken its toll on membership over the past 20 years. For the diva, who began performing 70 years ago at Havana's famed Tropicana club, the Buena Vista chapter is just one high note in a remarkable career that has seen her work with stars such as Nat King Cole, Herbie Hancock, Edith Piaf, and Chico Buarque. Three founders of the Buena Vista Social Club (from left to righ) Guajiro Mirabal, Portuondo and Barbarito Torres chat in Hong Kong.
In what could be his last show for the label, designer Hedi Slimane - the man credited with the skinny black jeans look and making grunge glam - was judged to have given the brand "the finger" by parodying its founder Yves Saint Laurent's least glorious period.
The hugely-influential Women's Wear Daily was scathing about his collection which went hell for shiny snakeskin leather for late 1980s vamp, claiming it was drawing on a time when "Yves Saint Laurent was well past his creative prime".
Slimane sent out a succession of very short one-shouldered dresses with gigantic bows, belts and black angel or bat wings that would not have looked out of place in "Miami Vice". Their full-throttle glamour had some style editors shifting awkwardly in their chairs, each of which carried a brass plate onto which their names had been engraved. There was no such controversy at Chanel, where designer Karl Lagerfeld, who was only hitting his stride in the 1980s, continued his modernising riff on the brand's core looks, with lots of boucle wool jackets, coats and skirts, piles of pearls and big necklaces. The Kaiser, as Lagerfeld is known, created an old-fashioned couture salon inside the French capital's Grand Palais. His models strode down the aisles in front of stars that included singer Pharrell Williams in riding hats.
While Coco Chanel loved to sport a boater, Lagerfeld told AFP that the hats were "something you could nearly wear on your bike and on your motorbike because they can protect you. A strong equestrian theme ran right through the collection with the hats decorated with rosettes and black riding boots open at the ankles. Despite the set evoking the nostalgia of an old couture show, Lagerfeld, 82, said there was nothing old-school about his clothes. The models were not tottering in high heels he said, because these clothes "were made for walking, like Nancy Sinatra's song" - "These Boots Are Made For Walking". French designer Agnes b celebrated her 40 years in the business with a typically timeless and elegant collection that reflected women's fashion over decades, starting with a billowy white 1940s style silk skirt ensemble.
And in a witty final twist to mark International Women's Day, she sent two modern brides down the runway, one in a white catsuit and veil and in the other in a silver wool-trimmed bomber jacket, before the models held up letters reading "Vive les femmes!". US actress Eva Longoria later sat in the front row at Taiwanese luxury label Shiatzy Chen, appearing in head-to-toe black with a long-sleeved see-through blouse and equally transparent skirt. The actress is set to release her own autumn clothing line which she teased in an Instagram post a week ago. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner holds a copy of Chinese Enterprises in the United States, published by China Daily.
Sylvester Turner would like you to know that he still enjoys being mayor of his hometown of Houston. After 26 years in the Texas Legislature, Turner was elected mayor of the US' fourth-largest city last December. Born in 1954 in Houston as the sixth of nine children, Turner, 61, was raised by his father, a commercial painter, and his mother, a maid at the old Rice Hotel. When Turner was 13, he lost his father to cancer and his mother became the primary breadwinner. Turner attended what at the time were segregated neighborhood public schools until integration arrived in Houston. Turner graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science from the University of Houston. The next year, Turner made his first attempt at public office but did not win a seat on the Harris County Commission.
As Houston's new mayor, Turner said that his priorities are "to make us safe, build the infrastructure for business and people, including good streets and a good transit system, take care of the finances of the city, and go beyond the fundamentals". Turner already had created a buzz in the city by seeing that potholes plaguing Houston streets were speedily fixed, as he promised in his mayoral campaign.
Turner indicated that it was time to turn to more serious and address long-term infrastructure issues as well as the city budget, plan for the upcoming Super Bowl, and make appointments to various public boards. As a native Houstonian, Turner considers diversity a major plus for the city: "Houston is a welcoming city embracing all the cultures, ethnicities and nationalities.
For nearly 20 years, every mayor of Houston from Lee Brown to Bill White to Annise Parker, has led trade delegations to China to entice Chinese investors, and Turner is sure he will do the same. In Turner's view, the local Chinese community can contribute much to the strengthening of ties between Houston and China. Brother Sway poses with other performers at the BTV Global New Year Gala in Beijing on Jan 10. Cui Baoyin was quite successful by most standards - working as an interpreter for Boeing and Microsoft and later owning a company with 70 employees.
The video, shot in the basement of his house six years ago, has been viewed more than a million times online. A native Beijinger, Brother Sway graduated from Beijing University and worked as an interpreter in the Forbidden Palace. Things began to look better after he sealed a contract to sell beer and snacks at some major sports and entertainment events in Seattle. Appearing on a China Radio International talk show, the host pressed him on his motivations. To attract an audience, every weekend Cui's wife cooks a huge pot of zha jiang mian, a traditional Beijing dish of noodles topped with pork sauce and cucumber cut in julienne style. In 2010, a friend recorded Brother Sway performing his iconic show Don't Come to America, in which he blames China for growing too fast and leaving him behind.
He has performed in 11 cities in the United States and is preparing to tour Australia and Europe.
World Population Balance focuses on education of the environmental consequences of United States and world overpopulation, the need to halt exponential population growth, and the need to achieve a stable, sustainable population.
Founding World Population Balance was David Paxsona€™s answer to the questions: a€?What are you really concerned about in the world? Any budget requests for 2010-2011 should be forwarded to Jack Waldhauer, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, before the May 12 Steering Committee meeting. We all look forward to our summer socials, held in June, July and August in place of our regular meetings. April 14Mary Coons of Hanover presented a program entitled, a€?Cross Cultural Awareness.a€? Ms. APRIL 28We viewed another of the videos from First Unitarian Albuquerque, UUs in the US by Rev. The 2010 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association will be in Minneapolis June 23 to 27. Richard and LaGretta Dean attended the PRAIRIE STAR DISTRICT ANNUAL CONFERENCE APRIL 23-25 IN DAVENPORT, IOWA. When Unitarian Universalists in Iowa experienced flooding of their homes and property in 2008, people from around the country sent more than $25,000 to help them with the recovery efforts. This is part of the Unitarian Universalist Associationa€™s nationwide network of leadership schools, offering a week-long intense program in which leadership and group dynamics can be developed and reflected upon.
The Buffalo Community Center is at 206 Central Avenue (Highway 25, directly across from the Post Office).
We welcome everyone to our group, whatever your race, ethnic origin, religious perspective, sexual orientation, political philosophy, or economic condition.
Recently I watched two separate PBS specials, which set forth the theme: One was on telescopes. It may seem at this time in our national and world history that the pressures will blow us to pieces, and indeed this may happen.
I’ve been hearing about this festival since I was a little girl, but I’ve never had the opportunity to go. And krumkake, when filled with whipping cream, is very similar to the classic Sicilian cannoli. Last year Gio and I created our own Italian meatball recipe, Gio’s Meatballs, which has since become a family favorite, and I’m not even Italian.
Allspice comes from the berries of a tropical evergreen tree, and was brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus. Tony knew this as he was crafting his recipe, and he spent a good deal of time working on the balance of ingredients and perfecting the texture. They will make their family debut on our Christmas Eve buffet this year, and I know that my proud Norwegian Grandpa Don would definitely approve.
Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat and cook the meatballs until browned on all sides. Once the broth starts to boil add the roux and whisk until broth thickens to a sauce consistency. This work reveals food and cultural practices in Jamaica from the time of the earliest Taino inhabitants through the introduction of different foodways by enslaved cultures, to creole adaptations to the fast-food phenomena. As the vessel cleared the narrow causeway and turned on a Southerly heading, we retreated to our cabin.
We parted company with the Browna€™s and returned to our cabin to read for a time and surrender to the sand man. LIfe at sea can be very agreeable if you allow yourself to enjoy the slower pace of ship board life. They are of bright pastel in color and feature that charming crenelated facade of Dutch Colonial Architecture. We walked through it admiring the green expanse and the colorful flags ruffling in the wind. The many Jewelers, like Bulgari and Colombian Emeralds, were doing a brisk business with the tourists.
A muscial group and the Cruise Director were whipping the passengers into a dancing frenzy pool side.
You could imagine the enemy fleets coming under her banks of guns when attempting a hostile sea landing. It was to become a treasure port where ship loads of gold and emeralds were shipped back to Spain over the next few hundred years. Along side the road we could see the shacks back in the hillsides, some mere collections of sticks.
The Augustinian order of monks who founded the Monastery in the 1500 are still here in residence on the third floor of the complex.
The clay tiled roofs and stone walls warded off the heat that gets well over 100 degrees here in Summer.
We fended off the slum dogs as we walked back to the bus and then enjoyed the slalom ride down the winding roads to the city below.
Now it is a series of commercial shops where every conceivable souvenir and product of Columbia is for sale. They followed people onto buses and into taxi cabs trying to coerce them into buying things. He had been a Jesuit and the patron saint of the one million slaves who had been imported through the port of Cartegena. The monks still live on the top floors of the church., Various nuns stood mutely seeking donations to the churches charities. A few plaques of some naval vintage, some old sailing trophies and an anchor or two were her only signs of naval provenance.
We waded through one last wave of slum dogs to get to the bus for a very welcome ride back to the Island Princess. Hordes of other tour groups had descended upon the Horizons court for a late lunch, so we settled for a slice of pizza topside.
We then walked topside to stretch our legs and enjoy the early evening air as the ship motored westward towards Panama.
Off the bow of the ship, we could see a whole fleet of tanker ships who were waiting their turn to transit the canal eastwards towards the Caribbean.
Thousands of lives had been lost to yellow fever and tropical diseases during its construction.
The Panamanian Government had set up a huge warehouse of craft vendors, performing cultural groups and even a few taverns for visiting tourists. Wisps of clouds drifted amidst the steep mountain valleys giving the countryside a a€?Jurassic Parka€? appearance. The coffee plantations needed 45 pounds of beans to yield 5 pounds of the countrya€™s highly prized coffee. All had the stone river beds similar to those you see in Alaska, from heavy mountain runoffs.
Colorful graffiti on some of the areas rocks and bridges was an expression of student opinions on the issues of the day.
The cabin beckoned with a conversation with Ozzie Nelson.(nap) It was a nice routine we had going. We watched from our lofty perch as the ship slipped her lines and edged away from the James Bond Pier. Then we cleaned up for dinner and made our way to the wheel house lounge for a drink before dinner.
Then we returned to our cabin to read ( Midnight Ramblera€?- James Swain )and surrender to the arms of Morpheus. I found Evelyn our maid and tipped her liberally, thanking her for taking cares of us these last 10 days. They had a desert special today, tables laden with every imaginable sugar and chocolate coated confection.
WE continued our task and got ready for our last dinner aboard in the Bordeaux Dining room. We then set the bags outside our cabin with the proper tags for pickup during the evening hours. Porters were off loading the huge volumes of luggage, ships [personnel were pre[paring to unload one passenger complement and take on another. She is 964 feet long and 105 feet wide, She can carry 2368 passengers and a crew of 810 souls. The future's looking bright," said Garner, the customer-nominated Milkman of the Year at Milk and More, the country's biggest doorstep delivery firm.
He talks about his idea all the time, and he's really into social networking," says his friend Georges-Edouard Legre.
But as he was hitchhiking in the general direction he blew in to Marseille, and it was love at first sight.
Some of its high-profile deals include the $314.5 million investment in China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd since 2011 as well as the joint venture it formed last year with China's largest residential developer Vanke Co Ltd to invest a total of $250 million in the Chinese real estate market. Instead of looking at the short-term movements in the equities and foreign exchange markets, the fund focuses on the larger trends, including the shift of the Chinese economy away from the inefficient industries to the more productive private and service sectors, he said. By 2040, the expectation is that China will represent somewhere between 25 to 30 percent of the global GDP. Anything that is essentially attached to the Chinese consumers, directly or indirectly, is of interest for us.
So the more long-term institutional investors with deep experience that are able to participate freely in the market, the less volatility and the greater degree of rationality that will be in the market.
It is because as investors are coming in and out, selling and buying, we keep our eyes focused on the horizon, which will allow us to find deep value. I think in many respects, we have an easier time managing our portfolio than either a private asset management firm that has many different clients with many different needs or a sovereign wealth fund where it is often not clear who the client is. To focus on his core business, the Chinese entrepreneur gave up a couple of businesses and as a result is now the world leader in three chemical compounds. The hosting efforts continued and more attention was paid to anti-terror and other affairs," he said. Many Chinese prefer holding high-end bags in their hands after purchasing them," he said, adding that another bad habit is carrying large amounts of money to pay by cash. Where we're trying to develop is through the community, where lots of events are organized," he said.
Goff has also tried launching a magazine, plus holding a literary award and running a press. In previous sessions, Peter Hessler, Benjamin Zephaniah, Howard Goldblatt as well as home authors Mo Yan, Yan Lianke and Bi Feiyu were festival speakers. He said many of the writers from outside of China have arrived "with their own educational purposes". They are engaging in wider discussions over the years with topics like environmental awareness, a sense of self, of belonging and of social justice," he added. At that time he "caught the China bug", and was "struck by how dynamic China was as it was going through a period of such frenetic change" he wrote in a column in China Daily in 2015. A social community platform where people would come in, listen to music, eat nice food, just hang out and meet people from all around the world," he said.
He developed a "hot and spicy" tooth there, and loves to take international writers to hot pot dinners even when they are in Beijing.
He carried on the quake relief efforts until 2015, when he and the team handed over a school to the local authorities.
I love its atmosphere, and bought a house there that I call my second home after Dublin," he said. And there's all those issues they're dealing with: all the issues of urbanization, job pressure, relationship pressure, family pressure, environmental pressures, that all those different things coming together and all being seen on a daily basis. It's important that those new things get out, not to ignore the great historical materials, but also have with that, contemporary material, contemporary writers who are young, energetic, charming, smart people. The biggest threat to our existence every month is how to pay rent, how to raise money to pay for those flights for so many authors. The people we invited to this year's Bookworm festival are some of my favorite writers: A Yi, Han Song, Yi Sha.
Yet there are so many unexpected difficulties that need to be conquered, and it can be a miserable life. To save cash, I fly economy and stay in cheap chain hotels that cost no more than 200 yuan ($30; 27 euros) a night. I quit that job to start my own oil-trading fund, which in four years saw profits soar 480 percent. I set up two personal wealth management companies in 2012, but I eventually had to shut both down because I couldn't find the right talent. People tend to overestimate their ability when they have a successful career path in a big company.
After its launch in mid-March, the number of the active customers hit about 10,000 within a week, which is a good start for a startup like us.


He is the first Chinese national to found a wildlife conservation not-for-profit organization in Kenya. The government of Kenya confirms that just 57 elephants and 5 rhinos were killed in Kenya in 2015.
And shortly after President Xi Jinping's visit to Zimbabwe in December last year, China donated vehicles and equipment to anti-poaching forces there, too. He is CEO of China House, an organization in Nairobi that helps Chinese companies with social projects in Kenya, including wildlife conservation. During a recent presentation in Nairobi, he said: "There's just no tangible data that can be used to support this idea. This, he believes, will require key contributions from the United Nations Environment Program, the United States, China and the European Union. This was achieved and the (Kenyan) economy recorded 7 percent growth in 2007," says Gituro Wainaina, acting director-general of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat.
Africa started witnessing true and sustainable growth after China's entry because they are working cohesively with African governments," he says.
The initiative would connect China with Europe, Africa and other areas by means of investment and infrastructure along the traditional Silk Road routes. Audits should be carried out often to revise goals while re-engaging China in the areas of need. By that he means designing the language and tone of the program to be easily understood by Chinese investors. He says there has been some controversy about the involvement of Chinese entrepreneurs in small businesses. Internationally, we can contribute in many ways: trade expansion, economic aid, productive capacity building, and infrastructure development.
Loans from the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China to investment in African countries have, for example, outnumbered the lending of the World Bank. In addition, the UK's expertise in building a knowledge economy is also helpful to China as the country experiences a structural transition from a growth model fueled by manufacturing to one led by services and consumption.
For a generation coming of age in the 1990s in the West, the music of Buena Vista Social Club added a burst of colour to the perceived grey palette of Castro's Communism - encouraging people to see the place for themselves. Last October the group performed for President Barack Obama at the White House, where he reportedly revealed he too had bought the iconic album. Diplomatic ties between the two nations, which broke off in 1960, were restored in July last year.
Portuondo is one of a few from the original line-up to remain, and just this month Jesus 'Aguaje' Ramos pulled out of the Hong Kong performance for health reasons. Tour pays homage to the band's history combining new talent with the veterans, as well as images and footage of elder statesmen of Cuban music now passed. Portuondo’s tiny frame belies the sheer power of a sonorous voice that made her a star in Cuba well before she found global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club around the age most people start claiming their pensions. While one style editor wryly described one dress as "Batwoman", a red heart-shaped fur coat provoked another fashion fan to tweet: "I can't believe Saint Laurent murdered Gossamer from Looney Tunes to make a coat" - referring to the hairy red monster who is always trying to eat Bugs Bunny.
Having not finished high school herself, Turner's mother ensured that her children got an education and inspired them to do their best. He was transferred to Klein High School, and after a rocky start, was eventually accepted by his fellow students. He continued his studies at Harvard Law School, where upon graduation he briefly worked as as an associate at a major Houston law firm before founding his own firm, Barnes & Turner, in 1983.
According to data provided by the mayor's office, more than 900 Houston companies reported ties with China.
Conversely, dozens of Chinese companies have operations in Houston, including the three major Chinese oil companies.
The mayor went to the Shandong Fellowship Association's Lunar New Year celebration, which was attended by more than 1,000 people in February. Though he didn't practice law upon graduation, Cui said he learned a lot about the American justice system, and more importantly, it improved his English and led him to work as a part-time interpreter for some major companies in the area, including Boeing and Microsoft. Cui enjoyed talking to the Western audience about China, race and dirty jokes, "especially the dirty jokes", he joked. Everyone in the Chinese community knew that Brother Sway served free noodles and told jokes that were quite funny," he said. In China, he has bragged on the stages of several broadcast stations, including the New Year Gala of Beijing Television. Coons spends 5 months of each year in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which is a constitutional monarchy consisting of 33 desert islands. Coons pointed out that Bahraini Arab Muslims make generalizations about Americans just as Americans make generalizations about Arab Muslims.
The prospect of watching my son prepare Norwegian food with his Italian dad was just too good to pass up. For this occasion, Tony featured my krumkake recipe with a twist – instead of using whipped cream, he would use the sweetened ricotta filling of a cannoli. It has aromatic properties of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and thus received its name, allspice. And, if the reactions from the mostly-Scandinavian crowd at Norsk Hostfest were any indication, they succeeded. I loved the final version: Immensely comforting, this gravy is silky smooth, not too thick, with a lovely light brown color and savory aroma. She had just disgorged her previous passengers a few hours earlier and was making ready to house her new compliment. We watched in the bright sunshine as a virtual parade of these floating hotels glided out slowly into the Atlantic. It was formal dress night for dinner and crowds of tuxedo clad passengers were already making their way to the Captaina€™s Cocktail party. We didna€™t know that the ships captain would be speaking in the three story atria outside the bar. We had to change our watches an hour forward to meet the shift into a more eastern time zone. We found the Art Auction on deck seven and watched for a time as the auctioneer explained the various paintings. We could see the twinkling of running lights from the many oil tankers waiting in line offshore. The solitary statue to the long dead Queen sits atop a solitary pedestal at the center of the Park.
On deck fourteen, we sat down to lunch with two Canadians from Niagara on the Lake,Ontario, a village just twenty miles from us in Amherst. We watched the frenetic activity around the main pool for a time and then retreated to our cabin for a conversation with Ozzie Nelson. We walked topside to stretch our legs, enjoying our first look at the South American Coastline off Venezuela. We could see the the recent forest of high rise condos that were springing up over Boca Grande a rounded point extending out from the harbor. The Don Lucho, one of those colorful and powerful harbor tugs was guiding us into a massive container port area of the harbor.
Each year, on the February Feast of the a€?Candelaria Virgin,a€? a procession of towns people carried an enormous statue of the Virgin, in a candle light procession on a gilded pallet, up these steep roads to the monastery above. The hall was filled with tourists watching authentic native dancers in colorful costumes entertain them with a lively Samba. We rode in comfort to the newer section of the city, Boca Grande and an upscale collection of shops.
The city is interesting, alive with history and stories of struggle and intrigue from many nations fighting for wealth, nationhood and religious freedom. We said an enthusiastic good bye to the hordes of slum dog vendors and hoped never to return. We got off the ship and strolled through the booths that offered an eclectic array of trinkets and souvenirs for sale. Then, while topside we enjoyed a glass of cabernet as we watched the MSC Lyrica, berthed next to us, prepare to slip her lines and leave port.
A Crab and shrimp appetizer was followed by a wonderful mushroom soup, a garden salad, a delicious fresh water trout (sans le tete) and a sinful sacher torte, accompanied by a glass of cabernet. It was the beginning of a day long narration of the countrya€™s history, geographical and social progress.
Orchids, pineapples and a variety of other agricultural products make Costa Rica comparatively prosperous among her neighbors.
The pineapples took 24 months to mature and had three distinct grades of quality depending on the amount of sugar in them at the time they were harvested.
The area hosts over 800 species of bird life, free roaming jaguars, three toed sloths and a whole host of jungle fauna. Just North of the city, there is a substantial settlement of ex-patriate Americans attracted to the country's mild weather, political stability and relative affluence. Enormous in size and perfect round, they have a series of stories attached to them, some believable some not.
Costa Ricans have a long history of freedom of speech and use it often to express their displeasure on any issue they dona€™t agree with. We had a pleasant and wide ranging discussion of travel and touring with all of our dinner companions. Later in the morning, we sat topside enjoying the hot sun and swimming in the cool waters of the main pool.
The constant chatter and restfulness of the aging viewers sitting around us gave us an early taste of watching television in a nursing home.
She motored away from the beautiful beach and turquoise waters of Jamaica into the deeper blue of the Caribbean.
We listened to a musical group and enjoyed the comings and goings of passengers headed to and from dinner. Shrimp cocktail, lentil soup, King Crab legs and a black forest gateau (cake) made for an excellent repast. We found our luggage in the color coded section of the warehouse and then proceeded to the line for customs. We walked topside to stretch our legs,A  enjoying our first look at the South American Coastline off Venezuela. We look at opportunities in sectors related to the growing middle class and the growing consumer demand driven by the private sector as opposed to the State-owned sector.
We want to make sure that we understand the risks and we are able to get compensated appropriately. But you also have a population in terms of structure that is going to be disproportionally old as a result of the one-child policy. It's an honor in many ways, because China is a wonderful country with an incredible past and a really exciting future. I don't mind, whatever way works for a bookshop to keep still open, I'm very happy to do that.
It's about this generation of Chinese youth, where they're going to, what problems they are facing, how they are moving out into the world.
I've become much more mature and gained a lot of valuable business management experience from my two failures. When I saw the news in 2014 about Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba listing in the United States, I was amazed by its achievements.
It pushed us to rein in the tide as we were considered the source, transit and destination countries.
The international community should recognize this, as China can become a leader in global wildlife conservation," he says. Vision 2030 outlines development of key infrastructure to move the economy into the middle-income bracket. He emphasizes the need for strong domestic policies and regulations to defuse such conflicts by encouraging partnerships. The injection of young talent means the ensemble now performs under the name Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. His primary focus as a Democratic state legislator was public education, healthcare, consumer protection and criminal justice. Turner said that 95 percent of the time, the city crew fixed potholes reported by citizens by the next day, a fact verified by an independent study by Rice University. We want to explore as many business opportunities with China as possible," Turner continued. Like many early Chinese immigrants, Cui said he "changed from a white collar in China to a blue collar in America". But my grandfather, Don Mathison, was 100% Norwegian and proud of it, and every now and then we find a way to honor my heritage, too. We checked into the busy hotel and signed up for a shuttle to the Port Everglades Terminal several miles away.($16 rt) A crowd of cruisers, bound for many ships, was already milling about the lobby.
I bet that that was going to be one week-long party.We were dropped off at the Princess Terminal where we checked in for our ten day cruise aboard the Island Princess.
Holland, Celebrity, Costa and another Princess ship slid out before us amidst cheers and waves from boating traffic and other passengers. Usually the entire shipa€™s crew is introduced at these affairs and awful champagne is served.
We settled in with three Indian Couples and chatted with them enjoying the mix of cultural diversity. We noticed a few empty store fronts along the main drag and wondered if the recession was hitting so affluent an island like Aruba. We then retreated to our room and enjoyed a glass of Cabernet and some cheese on our balcony. Then, we sat back and enjoyed an eight ounce Lobster tail, scallops and a to die for chocolate cake. Maersk, from Germany, is the container company presiding over the rows of stacked metal containers.
We were in Columbiaa€™s Summer Season(Nov.- April) The other wet season ran six months and drowned everything in hot steamy rain. Germon pointed out the Monument of the a€?Two Shoes.a€? It is a bronze memorial to Colombian Poet Carlos Lopez, whose most famous work is of that name. The procession stops at each of the twelve stations of the cross erected along the winding road. She has a Pocahontas type of history in Columbia and the casting looked suspiciously like one of Pocahontas in the Virginia area. We wandered through a few shops eyeing the statues of Catalina, native carvings, tee shirts and other things on sale. We sat and enjoyed a Colombian beer called Aguilla and appreciated them for their artistry as well. It is of interest, but until the local authorities reign in these slum dog vendors, give it a wide berth.
The ship was swaying like a hog in a wallow on the run through the narrow harbor entrance and then we were free in deep water. We had an interesting and enjoyable dinner with them talking about their professions and ours. The Princess picked up her Panama Canal Pilot and gingerly made her way into the entrance to the Canal near Cristobal, Panama.
Each of the twin sets of parallel locks is essential a concrete box 100a€™ long by 106 feet wide and 40 feet deep. On the other side of Lake Gatun are a series of three more locks that gradually lower ships the 85 feet back down to the level of the Pacific at Panamaa€™s capital, Panama City. You could look down the three locks from the lofty height of the ships top deck and get a sense of the distance in elevation that the ship needed to descend.
Several of the booths were manned by indigenous peasants wearing grass skirts and nothing else. Native Indians had mixed with the Spanish, a sizable number of Chinese, who had been imported in the late 1800a€™s to build a rail road and a large population of Jamaicans, who themselves are a varied mix of peoples. The central portion of the country is mountainous with peaks rising to three 8,000 foot range. The highway we were on runs from coast to coast, from Limon to Punta Reinas, and is sometimes called the a€?dry canal,a€? comparing it to the Panama Canal.
Though attractive to look at, one would not want to have to walk through these lush green jungles without being armed with a knowledge of them and sufficient armaments to fend off whatever came at you in the wild. Salaries are good here and workers pay a 9% social security tax so that they can retire at age 68 with good old age pensions. We thanked our guide an driver and tipped them liberally for their wonderful days experience.
We returned to the cabin to read ( Brass Verdict- Michael Connelly ) and surrender to the sandman.
We made our way to the Princess Cocktail lounge and sat with almost 900 other Captaina€™s Circle members for a free drink and a short speech by the cruise director. The ship set a course for the Northwest headed for the narrow straits between Haiti and Cuba.
We sat with a younger couple from North Carolina and shared stories with them of their coastal area, where we had spent many vacations. We don't focus on what happens to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Wednesday or what currency markets do on Thursday. The challenge for us is how we take this 4.3 percent and get something closer to 25 percent.
It also involves being incredibly diligent when we decide to make any individual investment, whether it is a piece of real estate or in a PE company.
I think my philosophy is that taking risk is part of the job and part of constructing a good portfolio. And I think it's just great to have the opportunity to be present to watch these rapid changes happen on a day-to-day basis, watch the society blossom, and watch China become a real high-profile member on every level of the world society.
A glass of cabernet, shrimp and scallops appetizer, crab soup, Mahi Mahi entree and a chocolate cake al a orange made for another exquisite repast. How you could eat a fourth meal, after consuming about 4,000 calories earlier in the day was a mystery to us.
Our Guide, a€? Germona€? introduced himself to us and gave us labels with his name on them for wearing on the tour. If you made eye contact or responded to them in any way they were on you like flies on doo doo, Ignore them and walk eyes straight ahead no matter how much they pester you. Narrow tunnels traversed the fortress walls where powder and shot monkeys carried the cannon fodder. It was hot and humid out and we enjoyed the shade and cool of the stone buildings for a brief respite.
Colorfully dressed women in local garb, with bunches of bananas on their heads,demanded payment to have pictures taken with them. No one should have to put up with this kind of intimidating and obnoxious harassment just for visiting. On either side of the canal, a 15 mile wide Canal Zone had been left natural and undeveloped.
They did horse trade, with bargaining offers for their goods, but never once were insistent or unpleasant. It made for a melange of cultures and a gentler nature where all races and creeds are more readily accepted. Her Capital, San Jose lies in a mountain Valley in the center of the country at the 5,000 ft. The low slung stone building now houses a collection of gold, jewelry and many artifacts from the the areas past. We sat with Richard and Ann Brown, from Brighton England, whom we had formerly met on the cruise. Hundreds of her passengers and ours waved back and forth to the European chant of a€?Ole, Ole Ole,a€? It was a nice tradition of tour ships at departure. A Glass of cabernet was joined with oysters in a cheese sauce, crab bisque, seafood gumbo and a chocolate fudge cake. The great ship pointed her nose at the anchorage, at at perpendicular angle, and then let her port side thrusters gently ease her sideways into her anchorage. We returned to our cabin to read fort a time and surrender to a late morning conversation with Ozzie Nelson. I guess the old goat Fidel still was paranoid that a bunch of tourists might invade his space. We stood for 30 minutes while an agent talked with them The unlucky passengers in the line behind us grumbled loudly. We walked the stairs to the Baja Deck and found our stateroom ( B-415).A  It was clean and ready for us with a nice balcony facing out to sea. It was too windy to keep our balance so we walked down to the deck seven covered walkway and completed our laps for an hour. The job of getting more capital into the market is one of the most important strategic issues that we have. What defines what we do at the CPPIB is constant learning and refinement of the processes and our knowledge. It has been an awesome experience," Turner said at a recent luncheon hosted by the Asian Chamber of Commerce. It was the ships signal to a€?man the life boats.a€? The Crew explained emergency procedures to us and where we would board our lifeboats should the need arise. As we chatted for a bit with a couple from Chicago and enjoyed the chance encounter, the great ship let go her lines and began to mortor away from the dock.
Scores of tuxedo clad passengers, their wives in evening gowns drifted by the broad walkway outside the bar. We listened to the music for a time, enjoying the evening at sea off the South American Coast.
We would also see several thousand smaller replicas of her for sale in the small shops we were to visit. Then, we walked along the shoreline to a stone plaza facing the ocean., The cool ocean breeze felt wonderful and there were no slumdogs here.
Then, three small gauge rail engines, on either side of the vessels, affix metal hausers to guide the ship through each lock. The entire ship broke into cheers as one last young passenger sprinted to the gangway and made her way aboard, seconds before they shipped the gangway and sealed the doors. Hanging from their limbs, the banana bunches are encased in blue plastic bags to promote moisture retention and growth.
I think the U.S, Customs could do a better job than this when 2300 passengers were all disembarking in a short period. They would ferry her guests out to a private beach along the shore.A  This place is tres elegant. We relaxed and enjoyed a memorable evening, drinking to the health of Terry and Suzie Landry who had sent us this thoughtful gift.
We dressed for the day and walked topside, watching the dark mass of Columbia off to our port side. We viewed religious relics, a statues of the Virgin and even and ancient depiction of devil worship.
Some of the pre Colombian stone furniture and carvings were over 2,000 years old, bespeaking a sophisticated culture that had flourished here long before the Europeans arrived. We had been on theA  Dawn and Coral Princess ships before,A  so the layout was familiar to us. Another massive assault, by the English General Vernon in 1711, with 100 ships and 20,000 soldiers failed miserably due to inclement weather and tropical diseases. When the ship is completely within the lock, two large gate way doors swing shut from recessed niches in the canal walls. A taxi cab ferried us the short few miles to the Spring Hill Suites where we had left our car. Water is then pumped into the cement lock raising the ship 26 feet at a time to the level of the next lock. To the haunting strains of an Andrea Boccelli aria, the ship slid from her ways and began to exit the harbor.
The woman is well educated and a veritable font of cultural, geographic and social information on Costa Rica and her peoples. In each pod, were rows of tiny lady finger bananas that would mature in different stages for a year round harvest. We sat there with our bright orange cork vests complete with light and whistle and thought about what we would do should the need ever arise.
Container ships and all manner of commercial cargo vessels were stacked up along the horizon awaiting their turn to transit the canal.



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