Thursday, June 28, 2007
I came here alone, not having met any of the students in advance. While that is a bit intimidating, everyone is friendly and you never feel alone. I am rather glad that I came alone. (Or perhaps with one other person I already knew.) If I already knew a lot of people, I may have felt more comfortable socializing with that group than meeting the other students.
The weather here is VERY HOT, VERY HUMID, and VERY POLLUTED. There is a lot of walking and you definitely feel like you need a shower at the end of every day.
On a more logistical note, I can't access my blog directly from China. All of my updates are going to be coming through e-mail, so please excuse any typos. I think that I will be able to upload pictures, but not until I get internet access in my room.
I miss everyone back home, but I am having a great time here with all of my new friends. Please leave me a comment and let me know that you are there.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Some of my fantastic friends made me an audio send-off that I now have on 3 different digital devices. It was so sweet and funny. Of course, I cried when I listened to it. Heck, I cry when I think about it. I am truly honored to know such wonderful people. Thank you. I will miss you all.
It is 4:45 PM on Friday, June 22 in Beijing China. A new world awaits me with another turn of the globe.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
The complicating factor was that I had two separate flight plans, one with airline A, the other with airline Z. Due to the delays, airline A redirected me to Phoenix. The problem was, they never told airline B. I spent hours, on little sleep, arguing with both airlines about why I have two reservations to Phoenix. The overriding fear being that they would cancel my return flight if the situation was not cleared up. Eventually, I made it to Phoenix, ensured that I had a return flight home, and was refunded several hundred dollars in the process. John met me in Phoenix Overall, it was a long day, for me, a 32 hour day.
The party was fun. We had a good time socializing with the podcasting crew in Phoenix.
All was going well until the flight home. We flew from Phoenix to Los Angeles and then planned to take the red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Baltimore. Once the plane landed at LAX, we sat on the tarmac for 30-45 minutes. This delay caused us to miss our flight. Thinking I was confirmed on a flight to Dulles, the customer service agent sent John on a flight to Chicago and then on to BWI.
Unfortunately, I wasn't confirmed on the Dulles flight. We ran over to the gate, put me on the plane, only to find that the open seat they wanted to put me in, belonged to a man in the bathroom. They had to bring back the jet way to get me off the plane.
At this point, the next flight wasn't until the following morning, meaning... no work on Monday and one more lost day preparing for ISU and China.
I spent the night in a crappy hotel (for free) and took the morning flight to BWI. Unfortunately, due to time zone issues, that means I didn't get home until after 5:30 PM.
Should I start counting the time to ISU by hours? Perhaps so.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I am in Ireland! As you can see in the picture above, I am having a great time thus far. For the next 3 1/2 days, I will be in work meetings, so I won't get to do as much touring.
Unfortunately, I didn't realize that my power adapter didn't have a grounding plug, so I won't be able to re-charge my laptop. So, unless I can find another way to recharge, you will only be seeing limited updates and photos. (This problem needs to be fixed before China)
Never fear, I will be taking many photos for upload when I return. See you soon.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Hello to the NASA Academy folks who made it down to the launch. I can't wait to hear the stories, see the pictures, and watch the video.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
It is fascinating. On the television they are showing a Chinese variety show with 6-year old kids performing hip hop songs and a few little girls performing traditional dances. (Hip hop re-mix of The Sound of Music?)
It is actually sinking in that this trip is going to happen. I have been so busy recently that I might as well be in denial.
There is such a cross section of people here. I keep wondering why l they are all traveling. I wonder if and will be my classmates. As I wait for my number to be called (177), I am making up stories as to why people are here. (The couple with the baby are taking him to China to meet his grandparents, aunts, and uncles for the first time. The woman in the dress and sneakers is going to meet the man she met online. Little does she know but he is the uncle of the aforementioned baby.) No one seems excited to be here, but a lot of people seem confused by the variety show. The Chinese more amused than confused.
Instead of making up stories, I think I will work on this massive backlog of posts I owe you. (Especially since I can't do any paid work here.)
~~~~ Time Passes ~~~~
Well, I got some blog work done, but not as much as I would like. I really need to get a keyboard for my Palm Pilot.
I HAVE MY VISA. They will now let me in the country. Now a lot of other logistics, shopping, and stuff. One step forward, many to go.