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before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

So now the next stop is China. China. I never thought I was the kind of person that would go to China but I can’t explain why. Latin America, Europe and Africa attracted me from as far back as I can remember, and I have lived and worked extensively in all three…but never Asia.
Preparing for this trip for several months – in stark contrast to my usual 72-hour pre-departure scrambles to go work on various epidemics in Africa – has allowed China to sit with me quietly, and not so …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

I have never anticipated a trip this much in my life. Although I have travelled in Asia before, it was in the avatar of a bumbling tourist, shopping, eating exotic fruit and enjoying the hospitality that defines this region of the world. I never bothered to research the economy that produced the cheap Thai goods that I fawned over or the farmers who grew the fresh, tropical food I inhaled at every meal.
Why is this China trip different from those ignorant, blissful times?
Well, for one, I have actually read a …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

“Are you Chinese?” Ever since I came to the U.S. people kept asking me this question.
In fact, in the past 24 years, I and people in Taiwan, have been asking this question again and again.
Ethnically, are we Chinese? Yes and no. China is such a huge country with different races so it’s hard to say which race is Chinese. Okay, our ancestor came from China so we might be Han. However, some of our ancestor married the native people. Are we still pure Han? Maybe not.
Culturally, are we Chinese? Yes …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

Where did the semester go?
It feels like just yesterday our “China on the Move” group met in the CMA to discuss our assigned readings from “China: The Balance Sheet” and nervously (as least for me) recite last weeks’ happenings for News of the Day. For weeks we completed special assignment relevant to being a foreign correspondent in China, meanwhile further educating ourselves on China’s emerging position in the world. Now, the much-anticipated departure to China will be taking place in just over a month, and I’ve got a lot of …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

A bit about me: I’m a student reporter in my fourth year at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve lived in Texas all of my life, but I’ve been lucky enough to do some travel in my life.
My first trip abroad was at the age of 11, with my dad and older brother, on a homecoming trip to Poland where my father’s family resides. My dad left his studies at Jagiellonian University in Kraków during the Socialist years of the early 1980s and moved to the United States, where …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

To say that I’m a little apprehensive about the impending trip to China would, to me, be the understatement of a lifetime. But with my lifetime spanning only a couple decades, I guess that’s not saying too much. Nonetheless, I still find myself wringing my hands and asking, “Am I really prepared to become a backpack journalist for five weeks in China?”
Logistically, I am scared about interviewing the people of China. Growing up in a Chinese family who valued its privacy, I do not expect the people of China to …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

I am always up for the adventure of travel. I love visiting new places, meeting new people and learning about their culture and homeland. Most of all, I love the personal growth that inevitably accompanies a journey abroad. My world becomes just a little bigger with each place I visit and in the end I am a better person for it.
We depart for China in little over a month and I have to admit that I am experiencing a confusing mix of feelings. …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

Well, here it is. My first blog post on our class Web site. I think this trip to China will be full of firsts for me. Its my first time traveling to Asia, and certainly my first time trying to cover stories in a foreign country. I expect the experience to be challenging, and I’m a little intimidated at the prospect of trying to produce journalistically worthy projects in a place that is so outside of my comfort zone. But I’m really looking forward to the trip, and to (hopefully) …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

I have always had a yearning to travel to foreign and exotic places out of my comfort zone. Although I am young, I have not had the opportunity to travel to nearly as many destinations as I want to. Traveling to China will be a once in a lifetime experience. Reporting in China will open my eyes to many unforeseen challenges international journalists face. Being sensitive to a foreign country’s culture and values system is extremely important, as is reporting unbiased news. Seeing the world through one of the …

before & afterthoughts »

[ By | 23 Jun 2009 | No Comment ]

I recently was looking at pictures that a friend of mine took in China. She moved to Beijing last October and is planning on living there until the travel bug leads her elsewhere. Looking at those pictures, I could tell myself that was where I was going to be in a couple months, but I couldn’t actually imagine myself going to this country I’ve never been to before. I felt overwhelmed with excitement and nervousness as I imagined getting lost in a crowd of people who speak a language that …