So- it's official and stuff now. I am going to Xining China. I am leaving on Sunday September 5th at 8pm from Toronto. I'm stopping over in L.A. then continuing onto Beijing, transferring to a different plane there and then on to Xining. From the airport I am headed to a hostel, where I am going to lay low for a bit and introduce myself to the city and to my contacts there. A U of T grad student flies in a few days later, at which point I will meet up with her and head to the apartment we will be sharing until we get sick of each other or I get sick of the commute (which is still going to be about half as long as my commute to UTSC yuk yuk). I have met her and she seems cool, so I may not be in any hurry to find a different place.
I have spent the past week meeting with my contacts figuring out exactly what I will be doing and stuff. It sounds like I'm basically a resource to anyone who needs it...whether it be for translating purposes, technological competence or instruction needs. I will get a lot of opportunity to work with many different people in many different areas. It is actually a dream placement. The office I will be based out of works mostly with video...they make documentaries in their villages. The office next door works with music and photography documentation of villages. I also know they want my help at a local museum for translation help, at a rural development office, and there my be opportunities at the local women's issues NGO (for lack of a better term haha). This also means there will be a tonne of opportunities for research. Which means it's going to be incredibly difficult to focus my research, but I have decided to deal with that later.
I have been warned that I may have to be careful about what I write on here and what not. I'm not likely to get into any trouble, but for the sake of the people I am working with I will probably not be able to get into detail about work. I will let you know about everything else on here though...and the rest of it you can skype me or email me about! It sounds like it's going to be great. I will be able to hook up with a lot of prominent academics who specialize in the area (apparently I already have...), and will learn a lot.
I have also been warned not to eat out too much, because I WILL get fat from Chinese food. And I will have to start working out. And they are used to white women being assertive (that was for my family haha). And I probably won't end up in jail (also for my family). The plan is to learn as much as possible, immerse as much as possible and travel as much as possible. Oh yeah, and that thesis thing too. Whatever. It will get done.
That is all for now...I think that was the important stuff. Thanks to everyone who is reading. I will try to keep this updated as often as possible. but if I don't and you're curious, shoot me a message somewheres and I will let you know more.
Arrivederci for now!