I leave The Eastern Iowa Airport at 8:05 Thursday morning for Beijing. There, I will reside for 11 days at Tsinghua University ("the MIT of China", as it is called) and volunteer in the Media Room during an International tennis match, in which male, female, single and doubles will be played.
Here is a list of advice that I am taking with me:
I am so excited for you! And by excited, I mean jealous. Have fun! Who cares that you have no idea what you're doing and you feel completely under qualified? You're spending 2 weeks in a foreign country and you are going to be lost--it doesn't get any better than that! I mean, GEEZ!--Atila P.
Write in your journal every day--Judy P.
Bring me back a cheap knock off of Gucci--Karess G.
Oooh, don't be scared, be excited!--Ashley H.
Your trip is so soon! Have fun! TRY THE PEKING DUCK!--Flo @ BFD earlier today
I am going to pack you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Just in case. --My mom
I am going to buy you an air mattress for your bed in China. Do you want rain gear? --My dad
Are you going to behave over there? No? GOOD.--My amazing grandpa
Go to Tiennaman Square--Marcus S.
Be safe; don't mention politics too much. Try spicy food and that stinky tofu we saw on the Discovery channel--my boyfriend, Jacob.
There is a Starbucks by the Forbidden City.--my sister, Sarah
My main goal in China is to discover what the rest of the group will do in June, July, and August; most likely we will be gathering flash quotes--I will ask English-speaking athletes, and perhaps Spanish-speakers if I have the opportunity, how their matches went, what they need to improve, what went well, what didn't, etc. Not gonna lie; I'm really pumped to say that I am an Olympic Media Volunteer, gathering flash quotes is a small link in the large chain that is the Olympic News Service. I'm sure it will be stressful, based on my conversations with Marcus, Nate, and Mike, but I'm determined to have an amazing time.
And I am going to try the stinky tofu. At least once. Maybe. If it's convenient. And if I run out of peanut butter and jelly ;)