I was back in Hong Kong for a second set of meetings with the University Grants Committee Research Grants Council. Most of the work of the committee is done in the four months before we arrive, and these are the meetings where final decisions are made. We also make an academic visit to one of Hong Kong’s higher-education institutes, and this year we visited, in a purely advisory capacity, the City University of Hong Kong. Otherwise, I caught up with old friends and colleagues.
Thomas Wong, PhD, RN, former vice president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an entrepreneur with his own consultancy business (GINGER Knowledge Transfer and Consultancy Ltd.) and health provider spin-off (Seamless Care), is the best value for money in Hong Kong and my oldest friend there. Little happens in nursing in Hong Kong and mainland China that Wong either does not know about or has not been instrumental in developing.
I also met Eric Lu Shek Chan, MSc, RN, GAPFON member and former deputy chief nurse at the Hong Kong Health Authority, now dean at Caritas Institute of Higher Education. Chan had planned to meet me in Seoul, South Korea, at the 2015 conference of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), but the Hong Kong government prohibited any health-related personnel from travelling to South Korea due to the MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) crisis. The risks of becoming infected with MERS must rate similarly to the chances of winning the United Kingdom National Lottery. Made of stern stuff and with the proverbial British stiff upper lip, I decided to take my chances and head to Seoul.
ICN International Conference
This was my second visit to Seoul, my first several years ago in prohibitively cold, subzero temperatures. This visit was warmer but at a much more civilised temperature than Hong Kong. Conditions for running were ideal, and I recorded Seoul, Gangnam District, on my Garmin webpage.
I have attended ICN conferences before—in Taiwan and Japan—and this one bore the same overriding feature: It was huge. There were thousands of people there, the venue was enormous, and it was by luck much more than management that I ran into colleagues from the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, China, and Australia. I could see from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that many other people I knew were also there, but, despite trying, we never met. I was especially pleased to meet for coffee with GAPFON colleagues Hester C. Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM, FANSA; Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, FAAN; Pat Thompson, EdD, RN, FAAN; and Cynthia Vlasich, MBA, BSN, RN. I also had lunch with Sally Wai-Chi Chan, PhD, RN, FAAN, featured in many entries passim from Singapore and China.
|Pam Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of |
Washington; Sue Turale, DEd, RN, FACN, Ewha Women's University, South Korea; and Yours Truly struggling with that last course.
Sadly, my impression of Korean food, honed during my first subzero temperature visit, did not improve as a result of this visit. I simply cannot get the theme, appreciate the tastes, marvel at the presentation—and I’m British! However, it was not for want of trying, and I did enjoy one excellent dinner—mainly the beer and the company—hosted by my publisher, Wiley, through its Asia-Pacific office.
Leaving the best till last