October 2013 - First Impressions
This was the first time Domonic had come to China and our goal was to see as much as possible - the big, the small, the urban, the rural, the known and the unknown.
Starting off in Beijing, we hit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and visited China's biggest rehab expo We also did some riding through the city, turning heads among the cars, pedestrians and general chaos that fills the streets of Beijing.
Our journey continued to Shandong Province where we climbed a mountain (Mt. Tai), meeting with local disabled advocacy groups and cycling nearly 300 kilometers through inland and coastal parts of the province.
Our next stop was Hunan Province where local contacts invited us to a Disabled Persons' Federation event where we got people to start climbing rocks!!
Following this was the rugged countryside of Guizhou Province, one of the poorest province in China, where we learned how people with disabilities live and get around in less developed areas of the country. Not easy to say the least...
Next we moved from possibly the least accessible part of the country to the most accessible - Hangzhou and Shanghai. Modern cities with all the amenities and a budding awareness of inclusion of people with disabilities in the wider community.
This trip set the foundation for our efforts and established solid relationships with both individuals and organizations including the Disabled Persons' Federation, grassroots online communities and NGOs. All in all, a very good start!!