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January 17, 2014
Creative Living
There are No Limits
by Dian Thomas

For the past four years I have had the opportunity to take people to China. Each group has its own personality.  This group had 46 individuals, which is the largest group I have taken.

One man was blind. As I observed him, I remembered he was the blind man who went all over Salt Lake selling brooms for years. 

To be honest with you, when I went to the orientation meeting where we met the participants, I was really concerned. My biggest worry was if would I be able to take care of the group and the blind man and his wife too.

Premo and Marceile Foiannini, the blind man and his wife, arrived the day before we were to climb China's Great Wall. They were both in their 80s. At the Great Wall I always stay at the bottom with the people that cannot climb up the steep steps. My right knee does not have any cartilage in it, and it is a challenge for me to climb the steps.

When we arrived at the wall we took a few photos, and I was thrilled to get the Foianninis onto the bottom of the wall. I was all set to sit with them and enjoy a couple of hours to rest and relax at the base. 

I said to the Foianninis, "Would you like to come over here and sit down for a few hours?" 

Premo said, "Oh no, we want to look around!" I wanted to make sure they would be safe, so I followed them as they began to walk toward the Wall. The stairs started and before I knew it, they were on their way up the Wall. 

I stood in amazement. I did not want to let them go up alone. Before I knew it, we were off and climbing up the steep steps.

Every once in a while, as we would stop to rest I said to Premo, "How far do you want to go?" He said, "I want to go to the top. You know there was a blind man that climbed Mount Everest." I swallowed and knew we were headed for the top.

As we got closer to the third tower, which was well over 2/3 up this section, I thought I was with two rock stars. People from every country you can imagine noticed his white cane and would give him thumbs up and take his photo as they went up the steep irregular stairs.  

In all the ten trips I have been to the wall, this was the furthest I had climbed. I must say there were a few tears of joy as we reached the third tower.  

How many times are we held back in life because we think we cannot do something? Here I came to China to learn from an eighty-two-year-old blind man and his wife on the top of the Great Wall of China that there are no limits to what we can do and where we can go if the desire is there.


Dian Thomas takes people on tours to China, Peru and the Amazon, and South Africa.

If you would like an unforgettable adventure, come explore the world with Dian.  For more information, email

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