I haven't blogged in about a month (I'm sure I didn't need to point that out), and it's not for lack of things to say. A few very interesting things have happened in the last month. I'm not sure why, but it seems the more I have going on the less I blog. So when I go for a month without blogging anything, you can probably assume that I'm mulling over a lot of things in my head. Anyhoo, I'll try to let you in on just a few things and get back on track here.
First thing first. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but if you'd like to read an exciting story involving me, prowlers, a folding chair, and intention to make a daring leap from the fourth floor balcony to the third floor, just click here. For a little background, you should know that about a month ago, while Michael was here visiting, someone broke into the third floor apartments in the middle of the night and stole some money from Trip and Jessica.
Now, on to other news. Of course you know about the May 12th earthquake in Sichuan province. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to get out of your bubble. I wrote a brief blog entry the day of the earthquake just to let everyone know I'm okay. At the time I didn't realize the extent of the devastation and for some reason I haven't come back to comment more on it until now. It's been an incredible experience to see the reactions of the people here. The sorrow and despair, the patriotism and unity, the surge to donate anything including blood, supplies, and money. On the 19th, exactly one week after the earthquake, the country began a three day mourning period. It began at 2:28pm, the time of the earthquake, with 1 minute of silence. That's how I was told it would begin. Actually, when the clock struck 2:28, every train, truck, and taxi in the country blew its horn. That's a lot of noise. My first thought was "that's a strange way to have a minute of silence." Then I learned that it was meant as a wail of grief. A nation wide wail of despair after so many tens of thousands of people were killed. That's intense. For the next three days, all places of entertainment were closed, color was removed Chinese language websites, online entertainment was blocked, the only available media online, on the radio, and on TV was about the earthquake. For 72 straight hours. It seems strange to a foreigner like me to have such an enforced period of mourning, but if you know the culture here it seems fitting that they would honor the people of Sichuan as one big family and in such an all-encompassing way. There's still so much happening in Sichuan and so much work to be done there in the months ahead.
Now it's time for me to go. I actually have to go to class. Boo. On the upside, I've only got three more days of class over the next two weeks, so I can't really complain. Anyhoo, I'll write more later. I know that my own blogging doesn't quite cover all the events that take place here, so I'd suggest that everyone check out the links I've provided to other Shiyan blogs. Angelyn and Jessica's blogs will probably provide insight into any events at my school, while the others may or may not mention me but should still be interesting and thought provoking.