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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This is me outside of beautiful Hemu Village. Hemu is a small, self-contained Tuvan village in NW Xinjiang.

I got back last Sunday from our two week trip all around China. We started off going to Northwest Xinjiang (where China meets Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan). Talk about a mix of cultures! Haha! I never thought I would feel relieved to find a person who spoke Chinese, but everyone spoke Tuvan or Mongolian where we went. And then we worked our way back east going down the ancient Silk Road.

One of my favorite stops on our trip was Xiahe; seeing a large group of Buddhist monks all sit in an internet bar and play Counterstrike was pretty awesome. Xiahe is in northeastern Tibet, and has one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the world. The Buddhists in Xiahe had such a faith and devotion to Buddhism; their faith was their lives. I only wish we Christians would show such devotion in our lives as I saw in these people; the world would then be a very different place indeed.

This is the western part of Xiahe.

And then we got back to Beijing just in time for National Day. October 1st is National Day - the day that the Chinese people celebrate the formation of the Communist Party of China. It's actually a week long holiday. I went down to Tian'anmen square to see the insane floral decorations and just the sheer amount of people. It was definitely something worth seeing. And then my friends and I celebrated this day of Chinese pride by eating dinner at a KFC on the south side of Tian'anmen. We thought it was only appropriate.

So now my week of rest and recovery from my intense trip is over and classes start again tomorrow. But all in all everything here is going very well. I am slowly becoming more accommodated to life in Beijing and the Chinese culture is growing on me.

Oh more good news; I think we are going to go to this place named Grandma's Kitchen soon, and they serve Dr Pepper!

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