Would you eat thousand-year-old duck?
Professor Larry Poston did.
Poston’s adventure began during his trip to China, with the China Studies Program. His guide at the hotel said he and his group must wear good shoes because they would be walking for one thousand years. They left their hotel, which was about three blocks from Tiananmen Square, and followed narrow streets lit only by a few lanterns until they finally reached a restaurant. It wasn’t just any restaurant, however. This took Poston and his group back in time, quite literally, as it had stood there since the mid-900s.
Poston was instructed to pick out some of the ducks that were hanging in the window of the restaurant so the cooks could prepare them using their ancient recipe. It took nearly two hours to prepare, but the wait was worth it. According to Poston, the 1100-year-old recipe was the best meal of his life.
China is not Poston’s only stamp in his passport. Back in 2000, he celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary by backpacking around the world with his wife Linda and then 17-year-old daughter Helena. “Being a comparative religion [and] intercultural studies teacher, I had students scattered [over] the whole world,” Poston said.
It was by the hospitality of such students that Poston and his family were able to visit Sweden again, as well as walk through the “aggressive” markets of Cairo. In between visiting Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, and Mumbai, the Postons spent a day in Seoul, went to Japan, saw Thailand’s colorful markets and helped in an orphanage for babies with HIV in Bangkok. “The whole trip took about 32 days,” Poston said.
Before his days of world travel, Poston and his wife moved to Sweden for four and a half years with Greater Europe Mission to work as missionaries and to continue his studies.
Today, Poston calls himself a “comparative religionist,” with three degrees under his belt. He teaches world religions at three different schools, including Messiah. He commutes every week for three and a half hours from his home in Valley Cottage, NY to Messiah to teach a night class.
You probably never guessed that your adjunct religions professor was such a well-traveled adventurer who not only tried an ancient Chinese recipe but who can also read classical Arabic and speak German and Swedish. He is also an avid runner and estimates that over the course of his running years, he has so far run a cumulative total of about 32,000 miles (which would be the equivalent of one and a third times around the world). “How’s that for traveling?” Poston said.
Professor Poston is definitely worth talking to, regardless of whether or not you share his love for travel, as he always has interesting and insightful things to say.