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Great Leaps: Finding home in a changing China

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In Great Leaps, Colin Flahive explores China’s rural-urban migration against the backdrop of his own transition from Colorado to southwest China. There, in Yunnan province, he partnered with three friends to open a café that became much more than simply an outpost of Western cuisine in a far-flung corner of the world.

Over the course of a decade, Salvador’s Coffee House became home to more than fifty young women from mountain villages in the surrounding countryside. Most knew nothing about coffee or Western food, but they moved to the city to work at Salvador’s and earn their independence.

Great Leaps follows the challenges faced by Colin, his partners and his employees as they leave their old lives behind to make a new home in a foreign land. They encounter unlikely successes, endure heartbreaks and nearly lose everything. But by taking the leap together, they all find their own places in the modern Chinese dream.

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Click on the following link to read pages from Great Leaps. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

Chapter 1: From the Countryside

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Description

In Great Leaps, Colin Flahive explores China’s rural-urban migration against the backdrop of his own transition from Colorado to southwest China. There he partnered with three friends to open a café that became much more than simply an outpost of Western cuisine in a far-flung corner of the world. Over the course of a decade, Salvador’s Coffee House became home to more than fifty young women from mountain villages in the surrounding countryside. Most knew nothing about coffee or Western food, but they moved to the city to work at Salvador’s and earn their independence.

Great Leaps follows the challenges faced by Colin, his partners and his employees as they leave their old lives behind to make a new home in a foreign land. They encounter unlikely successes, endure heartbreaks and nearly lose everything. But by taking the leap together, they all find their own places in the modern Chinese dream.

MEDIA ATTENTION

“Having spent over 40 years in the China field as an academic and administrator running educational programs, I found Colin Flahive’s story to be the most rewarding, heartfelt, informative and worthwhile of almost all the books I have ever read about China. He delves into the heart and soul of the countryside as it is forced into transitioning into a “modern”, urban world and how this transition affects the lives of the rural people.
Colin is not a Western observer as are most China writers but actually lives the China life that he writes about, often gut-wrenching but always uplifting. It is a spellbinding adventure story and about as fine a read as I have had in a long time. Kudos to Colin for all his hard-fought accomplishments to improve the lives of Yunnan village people, especially the young women. His is an extraordinary life and thus the book is also an extraordinary literary sojourn.” – Alice Renouf, Chair, Center for Asian Studies Advisory Council

Additional information

Weight300 g
Dimensions140 × 216 mm
Pages

208

Binding

Paperback

Illustrations

16 colour photos

About the author

Colin Thomas Flahive has been living and traveling in China for more than 16 years. He currently lives with his wife in Kunming, where, in addition to writing, he runs multiple businesses and social enterprises.

In Great Leaps, Flahive explores China’s rural-urban migration against the backdrop of his own transition from Colorado to southwest China. There he partnered with three friends to open a café that became much more than simply an outpost of Western cuisine in a far-flung corner of the world.