Hong Kong Post 1

I am currently at the internet cafe after a quick debriefing with Jack and before a lunch meeting with our contact here Peter Wong. Peter is taking me, Jack, Sue, and Allison to lunch.

This morning after breakfast Jack and I walked around our hotel. We walked over to the Cultural Centre and across the "Avenue of the Stars." I think we might go see a Cantoneese Opera this evening - if we do not have other activities planned with the group that is. I hope we get to see the opera. When we walked down the Avenue of the Stars a group of primary school children stopped us and interviewed us for one of their class activities. Their school (about 15 minutes away from where we were) was on a field trip around the Cultural Centre and they had to interview a tourist. They were so cute and spoke English very well. They all took pictures of us, too. I help up a peace sign with them. They laughed and laughed. SO cute.

Everything and everyone is very English-friendly. Of course, HK was a British colony until the 1990s and Britain's influences are still seen in many ways over here. They drive on the opposite side and all the signs translated into English (almost all) feature British English ("queue up here" and so forth). I kind of love it. There is shopping galore and I can't wait to get my hands on some of the fabulous finds. Our hotel is so close to a Tiffany's, Prada, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton it hurts!

We are staying at a YMCA and I know that might sound weird, but it is actually a very nice centre with guest rooms that look like a very nice hotel room. I'm pleased with my quarters. The key that is used to turn the door knob is placed in a little contraption by the door when you walk in to turn on the electricity in the room. They are all about conserving energy here. I like this concept though. The downside of that, my American hair straightener uses too much power and even on the highest setting only gets warm and not hot enough to do anything with my hair. lol. So my hair is not looking too hot. It's all wavy and weird. Jack assures me that it doesn't look bad, but I disagree. I guess I will go au naturale for the next 10 days.

Tomorrow we are going to Tsing Ma Lantau & Po Lin Monastery. It has the world's largest outdoor Buddha and I cannot even tell you how excited I am. It's the only place I really want to see while I'm here so I told Jack, I don't really care what else we do, I want to see Budda! I'm so effin stoked. While we are here we are going to do other sight-see-ing things and see open markets and such, go shopping, and what not. I have to work all day Monday and Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday afternoons. Other than that my time is my own (I think) so I have quite a bit of free time while here. We are going to do some activities with the children maybe. Besides the four of us that are here to work (me, Jack, Sue from Ohio, Allison from WV) we came over with 11 Scott County High kids and two of their teachers and they are doing a home-stay programme (like my Brit English, ha) so that is who I was referring to when I said the children.

All of our contacts here are SO nice. They are just amazing people. The HK students are great too. They value education so much more than American students. It's very nice to see. And they are much more respectful.

Well, I've got to get ready for the lunch meeting. More tomorrow or the next day.


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