After five plus years in Beijing leading The Hutong’s development in Mainland China, Managing Partner Morgan O’Hara has just moved down to Hong Kong to expand the organization’s reach. We caught up with him for a few questions along the Sai Kung boardwalk.
How do you like Hong Kong?
My first visits to Hong Kong were very limited. I stayed in shoe-box small hotel rooms and shuttled from one meeting to the next. It was all very claustrophobic. Then, it might have been on my third visit, when I discovered Hong Kong’s vibrant natural beauty. Josh Kernan (The Hutong’s Educational Programs Director) and I stayed at a friend’s village house out in Sai Kung Country Park. It was such a far cry from Central, and such an eye-opener on Hong Kong’s majestic nature. Now, three years later, I have somehow managed to finagle my way back to Sai Kung. Living out here, outside of the hustle and bustle, has given me such a new appreciation of Hong Kong.
What are you doing in Hong Kong?
We aspire to be a special organization that is built to last. Long term, we have always wanted to expand beyond Beijing, and we expect Hong Kong to be a stepping stone that will lead to further bases and programs around Greater Asia. My first course of action here is to partner with more of the Hong Kong international schools; schools that we expect to collaborate with for years to come. During the process I plan to further develop and strengthen our Southern China programming and still be involved in the The Hutong’s development back in Beijing.
What is the last program you were on?
The last program which I’ve led – and continue to lead – is our Southern Yunnan Bike Journey. It’s an amazing program, and I had the privilege of bringing a group from the International School of Phnom Penh last month (click here to see the post + video). Our Yunnan Bike Journey covers all the bases; it offers a true cultural immersion, is full of physical challenges, and students have the opportunity to push beyond their comfort zones, come together and closely experience the beauty of Yunnan’s scenery, understand its diverse cultures as well as the ecological challenges facing the area. Next month we will be taking there QSI Shenzhen, and it’s such an honor for us to take student groups to some of these stunning remote communities where we have built relationships with over the years. Can’t wait to continue the Journey!
Picture above of Morgan in Yunnan, and below with his wife, daughter, and Hutong family on a hike in Sai Kung. Click here to meet the rest of The Hutong Crew.