Well, that's it. The Starkey Mission to China has come to an end for Rosaline, David and I. It has been an incredible two weeks, and I think that all three of us would agree that it was the experience of a lifetime.
The journey home was fairly uneventful. We took a plane from Lijiang airport to Beijing (and our tickets were valid this time!), then had a final flight home from Beijing to Toronto. The unusual thing was the flight home from Beijing was half-empty! That never happens! So Rosaline and I had an empty seat between us, and David had lots of room as well!
It was a pretty easy flight home, all things considered, and I made it back to my house before 8 pm. I was very glad to see my family after being away for so long, and I was extremely happy to be sleeping in my own bed!
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, as well as my employer for allowing me to participate in such an experience. I would also like to say "thank you" to Rosaline for being such an excellent travelling companion and bailing me out in all those situations where I could not speak the language. I also want to thank David as well for being such a cool guy to travel and share a drink with. I'm really glad I met you, and I hope we meet again (preferably at a pub!) in the future!
Finally, I would like to say thank you and best of luck to all the wonderful people I met on this journey. From the film crew to the audiologists to Bill and Tani. At the risk of missing someone, I'll try to name as many as I can. To Bill, Tani, Kevin, Mark M., Tony, John, Britta, Maricela, Henry, Laura, Sonia, Gary, David, Rosaline, Joe, Bridget, Dennis and Leslie, Wayne and Todd, Patricia and Sabrina, Eric H., Mark M., Marti, Pam, Scott, Dave, Eric B., Robert, Chris, Jimmy and Jennifer as well as all the translators (especially Jessie!), Starkey China employees and the wonderful people of Yunnan province - THANK YOU!