On Friday Nick had scheduled a presentation with a student union type group at a business school in Hangzhou. Much of my time on Thursday had been spent preparing my half of the 90 minute talk, and I felt fairly well prepared as we pulled into the University parking lot. Our host, Mr. Hu gave us a quick tour of the campus, including a spot on the canal where they hold an annual paddling event that draws 240 participants and a crowd well over 1000. This year Winner is supplying all the boats, and I think it’s a great opportunity for them to show off the difference between their products and the random menagerie of watercraft that have made up the fleet in previous years.
Once we were in the classroom with the students I quickly found that most of them spoke much less English than I had been led to believe. No worries. That’s why I slammed my Power Point full of photos. I figured that most Americans would get bored listening to me talk about the kayaking industry for over half an hour, much less Chinese business students.
However, the presentation went really well. I had some great help translating from a couple of them, and even ended up chatting with some of the students while Nick was giving his talk. I think that we may have inspired some future paddlers, and I fear that we may have even convinced a couple of them that there might be a decent job in the industry (oops).
That night we headed to Qian Dao Hu (Thousand Island Lake) where we would spend the weekend doing kayak demo’s and taking a couple of great kayak trips.