Awoke this morning at a time that is both really late and really early, even by dairy farmer standards. The alarm went off at 3a.m. I try not to wake anyone else in the house, at least until I am ready to depart. I offered a kiss on the head to each of the kids and to Amy, to quietly say goodbye for the next few days. Still making attempts to be as silent as possible. Yesterday, Josie asked why I had to go all the way to China to have a meeting, and if I was going to drive there--both valid questions for a 4 year old. Jenna, now 6, was quick to go get a globe and explain to her sister that driving was not possible with the ocean in between. Jack (nearly 2) was more interested in chasing both girls with a pair of sticks. As we talked about the trip, I shared with them about the need for agriculture and food around the world, and how Indiana is a place that can be "friends" with China and "share."
My wife not suprised that I had forgotten something at the office and so a stop on the way to the airport was necessary. As you may expect, the commute on a Saturday morning before 4 a.m. was a breeze. A quick print of some information, and some english/manderin business cards, and I was off to the airport.
Small crowds and a quick trip through security put me at the gate an hour before takeoff. The other representatives are arriving, and there is excitement to visit a far away place in order to offer opportunities that will benefit both the Chinese and our fellow Hoosiers. The chance to explore the chance to strike new partnerships and continue to develop Indiana's relationship with China is an important responsibility that we undertake, and the groundwork laid will offer our children opportunity in their future, even while they are still asleep for now.
Newark, then Shanghai, we are flying into tomorrow, literally and figuratively.