Log of personal mail to family members during week of GA2 and Innovation Center

From: Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 10:08 PM
To: 'Peter Cheung'; Agnes Cheung; 'lydia gmail'; 'Ali Alipour'; 'Stephanie Cheung'; 'rim2717818@gmail.com'; 'R Cheung'
Subject: First day

The flight to Charlotte was quite short, about one hour.  I signed up for 15 minutes of Internet access for $2, and did not even get to use all of it.  I was able to post a map on facebook of the location of the place (based on flight tracker.com) which was pretty cool.

The second segment was on a 757, and the first class cabin was huge.  There were only three rows, and each row had three windows.  Plus the seats had foot rest and was completely motorized.  Pulling back, it felt like a panoramic view of the airport.  I had a nice meal, and the flight was very smooth.  They had three pilots on board, and one would take turns resting in the seat next to mine.  It was deliberately left open for this purpose.  The crew flies from Charlotte to Aruba then back the same day, and this exceeds 8 hrs.  So they handle it with three pilots.  Like the Shuttle, the Captain sits in the ‘left seat’, and when he is the one resting, he is still officially the pilot.

We arrived in Aruba, and two gents from the Green Energy committee met us.  Mom had already been talking with them, and they said it was ok for me to head to San Nicolas first.  At Palisiaweg, I saw the new tile work in the rooms, and it looks very professional, and the seams were tight and smooth.  They did good work.  I also gave Mom the light fixtures and faucet I bought them.  Franky came over then to pick up his iPhone and the chip.

Ah Man took me into town, and I checked into the Renaissance.  This time I stayed by the mall side, and have a nice big room overlooking the pool on one side, and the atrium on the hall side. I then met with Stijn (PM’s chief of staff) and Tisa (conference cohost), and we went over tomorrow’s agenda.  Tisa and I introduce the speakers for the conference, and I will be leading the panel discussions afterwards.  I will need to stay on my game, and think of questions as they talk.  Then, the day ends at 3:30, and there will be busses to my building (feels really strange saying that), and Mom will play a role on stage for that.  I will be in the front row, but will be called up for pictures at the end.  I think it is cool how minor a role I am playing, and all I have to do is sit there.

Updates tomorrow.

On Oct 26, 2011, at 10:29 PM, "Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]"<edward.b.cheung@nasa.gov> wrote:
Forgot some items…

My cell here is 660-9501.  I can receive texts on my US phone for only 5 cents/message, but sending costs 50 cents.  I expect that will have Internet access at the conference.

Pretty strange being treated like a rock star these days, and I know it will be very different when I step on the plane Sunday, and go back to being a regular Joe.

Also, my best news today was that Stephanie did well on her mid term Physics test.  That really made my day when I arrived in Charlotte.

From: Robin Cheung [mailto:robcbos@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 11:34 PM
To: Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]
Cc: Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]; Peter Cheung; AgnesCheung; lydia gmail; AliAlipour; Stephanie Cheung; rim2717818@gmail.com
Subject: Re: First day

On the contrary you are a rock star!  Your talents, skills and determination paid off by your hard work.  You don't have to take off a banner and crown to pass on to the next beauty in line or give up your bat and ball because fame got to you. You stayed focused and set forth to achieve your goals in the field of engineering and science. Arubans are proud of you because you represented your island throughout your career and they in turn want to thank you for your success, giving back and setting a course for others.

Have fun tomorrow!

On Oct 27, 2011, at 10:58 PM, "Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]"<edward.b.cheung@nasa.gov> wrote:
Thanks for the nice comments Robin.  Very much appreciated.

I had a good night’s sleep last night.  Even overslept a little after I woke up and munched some Cheerios at 6am.  On the way down, I saw a person in a suit and asked if he was attending GA2.  He was a speaker, and I introduced myself.  It did not register with him, and I did not elaborate.  We had breakfast together, and I discussed today’s program with him, explaining that I was chairman.  We went to the nice buffet downstairs in the main lobby of the Renaissance, called Aquirius.  We have all had brunch there.  The waitresses recognized me, and they all wanted their picture taken.

The conference started, and the VIPs all filed in.  Tisa saluted the VIPs by name, and introduced herself.  I then said my name, and the whole room of 350 gave me a standing O started by the PM.  I was so surprised!  No one else today received a welcome like that.  First to speak was the deputy PM (deMeza), and then the PM.  His theme was we have the natural resources, the geographic location to be the gateway to South America, and the people know how.  For the example the latter, he first put my picture up, and the room applauded.  It was quite embarrassing, and I just sat like a deer in headlights at the front of the room.  Fortunately, he also highlighted two Aruban students at Dutch Universities doing green energy research.

Afterwards, my breakfast companion walked up to me and said he did not know he was having breakfast with such an individual.  I think Tisa and I did a real good job running the conference.  She is very experienced at these things, and I did my best.  We then broke for the day, and there were busses to my building.  I rode in a gov car along with another VIP from Mexico.  He is a very wealthy person that has organized conferences that included Richard Branson, and Al Gore, and other VIPs.  He said he was very impressed with my work, and wanted me to contact him for an invitation for the next conference.

We arrived at my building, and it was real nice.  There were two big tents, lots of microwave trucks, and a stage.  A white sheet covered my name on the side of the building.  Music and stage lighting rocked the place.  We then got started, and the speeches were real nice.  Mom got invited to pull the curtain, and unveiled the name.  Due to the location of the building, anyone driving on the high way will see it very prominently.

The party afterwards was great.  I had my spinning LED NASA pin, so it stood out in the dark room.  I worked the room, and many wanted their picture taken.  I normally would not stay this long, but felt I should show my appreciation by partying till late.  The band was The Rincon Boys, Aruba’s hottest band these days, and they asked me to go on stage to take a picture with them, then they played their latest hit, but changed the words to feature me in it.

A long day, and I am going to bed now.  Oh one more thing.  There were three performances, the first was an acrobatic group that was very good, the second was a traditional Aruban group.  When the waltz started, I misted up.  I would have been great to have Aggie there, but overall it was awesome.
From: "Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON &amp; TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]" <edward.b.cheung@nasa.gov>
To: "Peter Cheung" <peterbingcheung@gmail.com>
Cc: "Robin Cheung" <robcbos@yahoo.com>, "AgnesCheung" <missaruba@hotmail.com>, "lydia gmail" <lydia.alipour@gmail.com>, "AliAlipour" <ali.alipour@gmail.com>, "Stephanie Cheung" <chirubian@gmail.com>, "rim2717818@gmail.com" <rim2717818@gmail.com>, "May Reitz" <mayreitz@aol.com>
Subject: Day two
Date: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 6:35 am
I forgot some items, and added some pictures (also added May).
Before I left, I did some studying on Aruba’s governmental systems.  I had the photo, title and name of all the Ministers (6), and Parliamentarians (21).  So I surprised many by knowing their names and titles.  It came in sooo handy.  When we go to the Governor’s party, I hardly know anyone, but with that knowledge, I had the confidence to mingle.
Edwin attended the conference, and he and Franky were at the opening.  They did not ask me to speak, which was good as I have no words to express the gratitude.  When the veil was pulled from the name sign, the top part of the ‘g’ came off.  I decided to fix it in Photoshop.
I arrived back at the hotel, and Mom and AhMan brought me dinner.  They decided to go eat, but I could not bring myself to leave the party.  So I ate a good dinner, and tried to go to sleep.  Of course, I was too pumped, but settled down and slept.
From: May Reitz [mailto:mayreitz@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 9:17 PM
To: Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]; Peter Cheung
Cc: Robin Cheung; AgnesCheung; lydia gmail; AliAlipour; Stephanie Cheung; rim2717818@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Day two
Thanks for including me in your up dates. It's like being there and experiencing this historic moment with you. You should totally be proud of the honor that is being bestowed upon you. Give your mom our love. Keep us updated.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

From: Peter Cheung [mailto:peterbingcheung@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 12:23 AM
To: Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS]
Cc: Robin Cheung; AgnesCheung; lydia gmail; AliAlipour; Stephanie Cheung; rim2717818@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Day two
Great details of your day! Did you have dinner? Sounded like a packed full day.  Looking forward to more updates tomorrow.

We are so proud of you!!

Love from The Boston Cheungs.

On Oct 30, 2011, at 9:10 AM, Cheung, Edward B. (GSFC-408.0)[JACKSON & TULL CHARTERED ENGRS] wrote:
The last day, yesterday started with the rest of the sessions.  This day was only half day due to the Prince’s visit later.  By now, we are pretty smooth at it, and it went quite well.  Since it was the financial aspects of renewable energy, I thought I would not be able to come up with questions, but I still found some.
As is usual, lunch is served as a buffet style, and a lot of members told me this was the best run conference they had been to.  On this day, students from local schools joined us with science displays, including one team that built a large 20 foot diameter wind turbine.  This was great to see, and lots of interesting displays.

Since we were cohost, the two of us were seated facing the audience.  This is at a table next to the stage.  So when the Prince spoke, we had a better than front row seat.  I had to introduce the speaker after the Prince, but protocol was that the Prince be the only one on stage.  So I had to wait for him to be seated, before I could go up there.  I then thanked the Prince for his speech and introduced Mike de Meza.  I was to leave the stage afterwards, but Mike was so nervous about staying on stage by himself, that we hung on to me, and prevented me from leaving.  It was quite funny.  The plan was that while he spoke, the stage hands would set up a table for the signing of the agreement between the Dutch research organization that would be housed in my building and the Aruba government.    So since set up took some time, and Mike ran out of things to say, he just hung onto me, and we stalled for time.  It was pretty funny.
After the conference ended, there was a small party on the beach for the core conference workers, and I was glad to attend.  All the young people working the logistics made Tisa and my job much easier, and we got all the credit for it.  So I was happy to thank them, and handed out lots of stickers and autographs.
After that, I was picked up by Mom and Ah Man at 7:30, and we went to Dinner at Different.  It was Mom’s core group of closest people, Kam Mo, Ah Lien, the three ladies that you know, Ah Man and family.  On the way there, we passed my building, and it is right off the main highway.  You can see the big blue fašade lit, and the name is very prominent.  It is an amazing sight.
Ah Man picks me up at 10 am today, and I go to the cemetery with Mom.  I then have an early lunch, and go to the airport for my 2:30 flights.  It has been a whirlwind week, and still feels like a dream.  Everywhere I went from Taxi drivers, hotel hands, and people on the road have been waving at me, and giving me the thumbs up.  Pretty amazing.  I am really grateful.  When Pap
Of course there is a blog on this week.  Here it is:
I still await images, so it will not be done for a few days, and I will write some on the plane.