‘Qiezi’ Guest Post by @beausides #LessonsFromChina

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April is Celebrate Diversity Month. By celebrating differences and similarities, we can gain a deeper understanding of each other.

In celebrating diversity, this week, I have the pleasure of hosting a guest post from Beau Sides. Beau celebrates diversity and cultural differences. He is also a great example of what Servant Leadership should look like. His new book, Lessons From China, is a heartwarming story of a recent college grad that goes to China to teach English.

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I am the founder and president of Global partners in Life, a non-profit organization that helps orphaned children, special needs orphans, and disadvantaged youth with educational, humanitarian, and medical needs in China. Since 2004, Global Partners in Life (GPiL) has been giving for the purpose of enabling young lives to prosper.

As a businessman, teacher, humanitarian, and husband I enjoy making life better for those around me, and I enjoy people. Formerly, I served in the tech world successfully as a manager for IBM. As my interest in Chinese culture grew and after serving on numerous teaching tours as an English language instructor at a Chinese university and other business and language schools in China, I earned the title of teacher. In China, teacher is a lifelong title of honor which I will always appreciate and cherish. My passion is to serve others, and doing so as the president of Global Partners in Life has been a mission and a joy.

My most recent trip to China was just last month. I thoroughly enjoyed my guo bao rou, which is what westerners call sweet and sour pork and qiezi, which we call eggplant. I don’t eat eggplant in the states, but I love the way eggplant is prepared in China. My favorite dish is one where the eggplant is spiral cut, and it has a delicious gravy pored over it. A fun fact about qiezi: When you take someone’s picture in China and you want them to smile, you tell them to say “qiezi,” just like we tell them to say “cheese” in the United States!

The restaurants serve the dishes family style, so each table has a Lazy Susan and the dishes are placed on that. When you want more of a particular dish, you just spin the Lazy Susan until the dish you wanted is in front of you. It is noticeably less expensive to eat out in China than it is in the states. Oh, and you don’t tip the person waiting on your table!

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Beau Sides is the founder and president of Global Partners in Life, a non-profit organization that helps orphaned children, special needs orphans, and disadvantaged youth with educational, humanitarian and medical needs in China. He is also the author of Lessons from China (April 2014), a fictional story of a young woman who moves to China to teach English, only to discover that she has some lessons of her own to learn. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Follow him on Twitter @beausides and visit his website – beausides.com.

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