Though they live only a few miles apart in Buffalo, Christine Lai first bonded with my brother six thousand miles away, on the snowy streets of Beijing.
Lai, an associate professor in Buffalo State's business department, shepherds a group of business students through the Forbidden City each winter. In 2011, David was one of them.
Lai remembers the 23-year-old Dave, a marketing major, as a "smart and motivated" student. Pictures of the trip show him healthy and rosy-cheeked, delighted to be exploring the world with Lai and her troop of twenty-somethings.