Thursday, April 22, 2010

1 week to go!

I'm a week away from leaving for China. Finals are well under way here at school, I'll leave Ann Arbor on April 28th, leave for Chicago on the 29th (my 23rd birthday) and then fly out the morning of the 30th. Everything is happening so fast - I have to be extra organized this year.

An update on what I'm doing this time in China:
For the first 16 days, I'll be in Beijing with Carrie photographing social work organizations in Beijing. On days when we do not have any meetings with the organizations, I will be taking day trips to the sites - Bird's Nest, Water Cube, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hutongs, Temples, and mountains - to photograph my nature photos. There will be about 3 days in those first 2 weeks where I'll take the bullet train to Tianjin to photograph Larry and the GIEU team. Then, on May 15 and 16, Larry and Carrie will be holding a mini conference in Beijing about social work in the US and in China. Carrie is leaving for Shanghai after the conference and I will spend my remaining days (before I fly to Shanghai) in Tianjin with the GIEU team. I am hoping I'll be able to make a sneaky trip back to Yummy Food for some veggie pizza or chocolate covered banana pancakes.

I'll be in Shanghai from May 22-26. We'll visit the World Expo, some sites in the city and spend a night in Changshu - a rural city about 2 hours outside of Shanghai. Then, I fly to Hong Kong May 26-31st. I CANNOT WAIT for Hong Kong - my favorite city in the world. Larry wanted to work with some AIDS organizations in HK but we have yet to contact any. So I will use that time to go up in the mountains and see the Big Buddha again, spend some time in Kowloon, and take a day trip to Macau. MY friend Eric is no longer living in HK, he moved back to the US, so I will have to navigate the city by myself. I'm VERY EXCITED, though.

Not sure what the internet situation will be like this year overseas. It's very possible China still has a "ban" on the Blogspot website. If they do, I will have to find alternative ways of posting pictures and updates. I also will not be flying into Korea this year for a long layover like last summer. I'll fly from Seattle directly into Beijing - so no cool updates on the way over. However, on the way home on the 31st, I will be stopping in Tokyo!! (I heard the airport bathrooms are a must-see, so when I booked my ticket, I paid an extra $5 to stop in Tokyo instead of flying back to Korea. Can't wait!)

More to come in the month ahead! It will be interesting to compare trips this time having already been to the cities once before. While I'm sad I don't have the money to go back to Thailand this year, I know my adventure will be equally as exciting and memorable.

Thanks for following!


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