Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hello friends.
All is well here this rainy evening. Soon I will venture out for some dinner noodles, but for now I am warm in our cozy apartment.
The last few days have been full of Beijing things. Big meals, famous sights, crowded streets, newness. Being in the beginning now makes me grateful I already know I love China. Maybe I make no sense. I think what I mean is that all transitions send your head every which way, wondering if you're making the right decisions or if you have a clue what's happened to your life at all. And maybe I've been feeling some of that these days, but then I know--in my gut, no questions--that I love China. Transitions are by definition and nature impermanent. So nowadays when I'm feeling hesitant I think about long walks and being full of tea. There's something so big and inherently human about all of China, it's like being here makes me feel that much smaller but also that much more human. Maybe it's the flaws--the not expecting anything of the world and making no excuses in return. I don't know.
Tomorrow I'm visiting a language class full of other international students--some even from Kazakhstan, I think. Usually students in my program take language (and other) classes on our own, but my program director and the different teachers we've met with think I may be able to enter the higher division class. I'm a little nervous about being ready for the class, but I'm sure it will be a sweet opportunity to meet more students on campus, and in the end my Chinese will be significantly better for it. If I decide I'm not ready for the class, I'll just have a one-on-one language class, so no bad options really. We have three other classes that all happen within the program--another good reason to take the outside language class. I'll say more about classes once they actually start on Monday. Oh, and we get to audit Tibetan language classes!

Below is a slideshow of our first week or so. Our campus and day trips. I'm not much of a photographer, and my inclination tells me the video/slideshow may run a little slowly. Still, I hope you enjoy!

And finally, my mailing address is below.

Makenzie Barron
CIEE Students
Rm. 611 East Gate International House
The Central University for Nationalities
27 Zhong Guan Cun South Ave.
Beijing, 100081
P.R. China

It's delicious noodle time.
Know that I'm thinking of you all and sending love.

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