As many of you know, in approximately four days (excuse me while I go throw up a little) I will be heading to Beijing to intern with the Chinese Institute of Psychology.
Starting on June 13, we will have a several-day orientation in Beijing where we will also be interviewing Chinese psychology students to be our interpreter.
On about June 16 or 17, we will change our location to the Sichuan province. Here is where our plan gets fuzzy. I know that we will be attending a training given by German psychologists to give us a better idea what to expect from the Chinese teachers/survivors of the earthquakes.
As you can tell, our primary goal is to work with survivors, primarily teachers as schools were hit the hardest, of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. This also includes survivors of the 2013 Lushan earthquake in the Sichuan province. This province obviously has a lot of trauma from earthquakes, which is good because even though our official major is International Disaster Psychology, this really means international trauma specialist (in my mind).
However, not a lot of our project is planned, and every day the details change. For awhile, we weren’t even going to go to the Sichuan province because the Chinese government wasn’t allowing any students (which really, if the government didn’t want us there, I was going to be okay with avoiding that area). The Institute somehow got a work permit, even though they mentioned the accomodations here would be “much, much worse.”
Can I go puke again?
I’m trying to look on the bright side–it’s only about 8 weeks, so I can survive anything, right? I lived in Peru without hot water for three months which is a big deal when you’ve always had that luxury (clearly, I would survive the apocalypse handily). The Institute is also working really hard to give us a useful, memorable experience, which I know I will be grateful for–and not just because it will look boss on my resume.
In addition, I’m meeting the Boyfriend in Brussels, Belgium, in early August, right after we finish, so I have that to look forward to! It will hold me through months of terror and cold water.
Dramatic, much? 🙂
Also, I will not be alone, but with two other girls from my degree program, J and K (we are now calling ourselves “JAK” and I know you’re jealous of how hip and creative we are).
Now, I need to go back to packing. I still have to decide if I’ll take my new fancy rolling suitcase (thanks, Mom!) or a backpack. The last time I took a backpack, it was searched on the very last leg of my flight. Since it was so jam-packed, the lucky person who searched my bag couldn’t fit everything back in, and therefore me and the entire Bozeman, Montana airport got the pleasure of seeing 80 pairs of my underwear taped to the outside of my bag. I’ll never forget the image of my bra dangling behind my bag at baggage claim. I’d like to avoid that again if possible, but…they ARE convenient.
I’ll keep you posted…I know you’re at the edge of your seat already!
p.s. If anyone has any packing tips–or must-see/stay/eat places in Beijing, Chengdu, Brussels or London, hit me up!