[caption id="attachment_23898" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/03\/Egans.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="509" class="size-full wp-image-23898" \/> Dennis and Nancy Egan shared their travel in China at all the county libraries with a presentation called \u201cFour Pieces of China.\u201d Nancy led the presentation and described the images she shared, including those, above, which were taken at a school where Dennis spoke to a class of 300 students. After the talk, the Egans were given a calligraphy lesson by the school\u2019s art teacher. Photos courtesy of Nancy Egan[\/caption]\r\n\r\nSuzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nAs part of his job as a mechanical engineer at the Green Bank Observatory, Dennis Egan has traveled to China for the past 10 years as a consultant on the FAST \u2013 Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope \u2013 located in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, southwest China.\r\n\r\nOn his last trip, Dennis was joined by his wife, Nancy, and the pair enjoyed a two-week vacation to four parts of China \u2013 Beijing, Qinhuangdao, Qufu and Guizhou. The couple shared their experience at our five county libraries with a program called \u201cFour Pieces of China.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe journey began in Beijing, where the ancient architecture mixed well with modern technology. They spent time in the Forbidden City and walked on the Great Wall of China.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s really beautiful,\u201d Nancy said.\r\n\r\nThe couple then took a high speed train to Qinhuangdao where they were welcomed to eat at their hosts\u2019 home \u2013 a different experience from eating in a restaurant.\r\n\r\n\u201cEverything was perfect,\u201d Nancy said. \u201cOur place settings and everything. We had fork, knife and spoon, but we used our chopsticks.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn Qinhuangdao, the Egans toured a new museum which had replicas of ancient artwork and fashions from different dynasties.\r\nAt the museum, a calligraphy artist created a special writing based on the Egan\u2019s son\u2019s name, Benjamin.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe took the name Benjamin, and he wrote it out on a slip of paper in characters across the top,\u201d Nancy said. \u201cThen he wrote a fortune about his work and different things about his personality. I only talked about him a little bit, but it was pretty amazing he came up with so much \u2013 hardworking, imaginative, creative - different things. It was so hard to remember all the things that went along with the Chinese characters. Ben really loved it.\u201d\r\n\r\nNext, the Egans continued their journey in Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius. They visited his birthplace and the area built in his honor.\r\n\r\nThe gentleman who invited the Egans on the trip, Zhu Ming, took them to his brother-in-law\u2019s school, where Dennis gave a presentation.\r\n\r\n\u201cDennis got to do a talk, and he did it all in English,\u201d Nancy said. \u201cThere were three hundred students that attended this talk, and they proceeded to ask questions in English and some of them were twittering because they\u2019re using their English. It was really something.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI signed autographs for probably ten minutes,\u201d Dennis added.\r\n\r\nShocked by the treatment, Nancy said some of the students even asked her for autographs. Despite being only a spectator, Nancy was held in the same regard as Dennis.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t do anything,\u201d she said, laughing. \u201cThese young men were coming up to me, wanting me to sign their books. It was wonderful.\u201d\r\n\r\nDuring their visit to the school, the art teacher gave the Egans a lesson in calligraphy and had them show their skills.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe suffered while we tried out calligraphy,\u201d Nancy joked. \u201cI was having fun. It was kind of strange having the principal and the English teacher, and all these people waiting on me to finish my character.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe final leg of their journey was to Guizhou, home of the FAST telescope. The five-hundred-foot structure is built into a natural sink hole and is the world\u2019s largest filled-aperture radio telescope.\r\n\r\nThe Egans spent time touring the telescope, as well as the surrounding astronomy-themed community, complete with museum.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey made this place into this wild \u2013 almost like a theme park,\u201d Nancy said. \u201cThere are all these Chinese and western astronomers [carved into walls]. It was really interesting to see [astronomy] from the Chinese point of view.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe entire time they were in China, Nancy said she could not get over how welcoming and kind everyone was to them.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey were certainly wonderful hosts to us,\u201d she said. \u201cEverywhere we went, the hospitality was just amazing. We were given all sorts of things \u2013 precious things \u2013 I think.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn the last slide of the presentation, Nancy had a photo of Dennis and a Chinese engineer working on a piece of equipment. She accompanied it with \u201cwhat politics divides, personal interests and joy of discovery restores. I personally hope that we never forget we can do things together.\u201d\r\n\r\nNancy and Dennis fielded questions from attendees at the libraries and displayed some of the many items they brought home from their journey to China.