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Packing

I’ve been packing and trying to figure out what I’m going to forget to pack today.  Tomorrow our cohort is meeting in Ann Arbor to begin our pre-flight orientation.  People are flying in from around the country and us local kids are driving in to stay at Oxford Housing at UM until we depart for Beijing (OK, we’re actually departing for Minnesota, then Japan, then Beijing) on Sunday.  While we’re in Ann Arbor we’re going to learn more specifics of what the plan in China will be, meet some students who have gone on this program in the past, begin our language training, learn about the situation in China in the 20th century, and get to know one another.

It’s still a bit unreal for me at this point, though.  Maybe it’s the incremental nature of the onset of this trip.  I’m leaving tomorrow… but just to Ann Arbor, and I’m planning to see my parents again on Saturday before I leave, so though I’m leaving I’m not actually leaving.  It is dawning on me that tomorrow I’m going to meet all the people I’ve been in contact with over Facebook as well as those I wasn’t able to contact and that we will go from being strangers to fellow travelers in the matter of 3 days.  It is a very weird thought, and I’m always impressed by how well people get along when circumstances demand it such as at summer camps or with randomly assigned roommates in college. So I’m optimistic and excited about meeting everyone tomorrow!

I can’t believe I’m going to be in China in a week… I also do not look forward to traveling to China. It is going to be a ~26 hour affair, by my estimate, taking into account getting to and from the Detroit and Beijing airports and assuming all goes well.

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