Gerald: Working in Changsha gives me great sense of fulfilment
"I love Hunan Changsha very much, and working here gives me a great sense of satisfaction and fulfilment," said Meichsner Gerald, a German living in Changsha, Hunan province, talking about his work and life in the city.
Since 2012, Gerald has been serving as the assistant to the General Manager of Changsha Huanghua International Airport, a branch company of Hunan Airport Group. During his work in Hunan, he promoted friendly cooperation between Hunan provincial government and Hessen state in Germany.
Gerald and his colleagues at Huanghua Airport, Changsha [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Moreover, with his rich work experience at international airports, he has contributed much to Changsha Airport's rating as a three-star international airport. He has also played an active role in helping Hunan Provincial Port Administration Office and Hunan Airport Group successfully open Hunan's first direct air route between Changsha and Frankfurt.
Gerald is highly optimistic about the future development of Changsha. "In the next two to three years, Changsha Airport will become one of the top preferred airports for Europeans to fly to China," he said.
With the settlement of foreign enterprises such as Volkswagen into Hunan, and Hunan's local enterprises going global, the commercial value of the overseas airlines of Huanghua Airport will be more outstanding, said Gerald.
Gerald is the first and currently the only foreign expert of Huanghua International Airport. Before joining the airport, he had worked in many countries in the world and participated in the development projects of many airports.
Gerald’s arrival has injected international blood to the development of Changsha Huanghua International Airport.
"During the first year, I simply provided international experience and expertise for the operation of the airport, and the second year, I focused on the training of the senior management of the airport and the compilation of the management manual.
"This year, I've found much international experience and elements that I have offered to the management through internal documents. I feel very proud of it," Gerald said.
Gerald has been living in the city for more than two years. As one of his colleagues said, "Gerald is more familiar than us with the streets of Changsha."
When he is free at weekends, he goes to the cinema. He loves cooking. For most of the time, he would buy some cooking materials, and invite his colleagues to taste the delicious dishes that he prepares. "I feel as carefree here as I'm at my home in Germany," said Gerald with a smile.
As an employee of Huanghua Airport, Gerald has got a residence permit in China. He has also a driving license in the county. In his spare time, he drives to the suburbs to enjoy the natural scenery. "In the countryside, you can see the pristine and natural scenery. The clouds in the sky, the trees on the ground, and the insects in the grass. Everything is awesome!
“When I travel to the countryside, I don't have to worry about losing my way. The people here are all warm-hearted. In Changsha, even when I ask for directions in shabby Chinese, I will always get the right tips. I feel reassured," he said.
Being a stranger in the beginning, he soon became familiar with the city and its people. In the past two years, Gerald has gradually become accustomed to living in Changsha, and has come to deeply love this city.
Recently, Gerald received the seventh Hunan "Xiaoxiang Friendship Award". The award was established by Hunan Provincial Government in 2002 in order to encourage more overseas experts to support and participate in the reform, opening up, and modernization of Hunan. The award is granted every two years.
Edited by Zhang Qiong, Brian Salter