In the first half of this month I've heard three talks: (1) by a young Afghan doctor talking about her challenging career in her home country, (2) the Canadian Prime Minister's brother giving his perspective on present day China, and (3) an American archeologist speaking of the exchanges between Islamic and Byzantine communities in the 7th-10th centuries, on what is now the border country between Turkey and Syria. I am still digesting the input.
On Monday evenings I'm taught something about Mandarin Chinese by Jingnan, a highly intelligent young woman. On the last two occasions she's been helping us to translate and analyse a description and historical explanation of China's National Day parades in Tiananmen Square.
For light relief I have been swimming and cycling, as usual, doing Sudoku puzzles in the coffee shops and some pottering/puttering in the garden. I harvested 3kg of tomatoes-on-the-vine today, but, as I wrote on Facebook, they are all green; my friends are recommending green tomato recipes. With my German conversation group, I've been preparing for some fun for Friday when we're going to sing silly German songs at an Oktoberfest themed lunch.