I’ve been meaning to post for quite a few days now, but have been out of town visiting the opening of the 62nd Japan-America Student Conference, spending time with my sister, and passing the days in Washington DC with a stunning selection of long-time friends. In China, I think that if I make a post every 10 days we’ll be lucky, but remain hopeful that once my life starts to pick up tumult I will maintain dedication.
So there are a lot of things that are clattering around in my head as I try to prepare for China… What should I try to pack and take with me? When will be the final time I see some of my family for the foreseeable future? How will my running differ once I touch ground (haha) in Henan? Is Henan going to pay me in advance or should I take a good deal of money with me? All sorts of questions, no immediate answers to be found, and thus no reason to really spend a great deal of energy worrying about them.
It’s now less than 5 days until I board the plane to China. I called yesterday morning and reserved a vegan meal for the flight (yes, they do provide specialty meals upon request!), made final immunization appointments, and have obtained a visa. I said my goodbyes to Akron last night with some Monday (half-priced) margaritas and some quality time at the Theta Chi house. I did a lot of work with my fraternity over the last year to improve philanthropic outreach and community service and it will be interesting to see how the chapter continues onward without my constant nagging.
So what’s the point of this blog entry? I wanted to talk about my most recent relapse into JASC syndrome. Many of you that known me for some time know that during the summer of 2008 I attended the 60th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC), an annual, month-long event with the intentions of improving bilateral relations through mutual understanding. The conference consists of around 40 students from the U.S. and 40 student from Japan traveling to different sites and discussing a wide range of topics relating to current issues. At the end of each conference 16 individuals (8 from each side) are chosen to plan the following conference. I helped plan the 61st conference which occurred in the summer of 2009.
With my trips to Richmond, Indiana and Washington DC to witness the ongoings of the 62nd Japan American Student conference, I found myself relapsing into JASC-mode. Consider this the blog-post where I plug the conference and tell you all to apply for it next year because it’s really amazing (but in reality I will plug the conference some 5000 more times over the next year in my eternal hope to interest new people). The delegates this year seemed to be really spectacular individuals and the events, as always, seemed to inspire them to do great things and continue on to be productive power-houses in international relations. If you haven’t heard of JASC before, stop by http://iscdc.org and check out the details. Since the conference is student run information for next year is not yet available. However, I can safely say that it will take place in Japan, so if that’s any additional impetus to apply then that’s all the better… 🙂