May 12, 2008
I arrived in Guangzhou, China around noon on Sunday. I (Ryan) am here attending an educational conference with Jason Cooper, the assistant principal from Gyeonggi Suwon International School. The city here is huge. It took us quite awhile to travel in a taxi from the airport to our hotel. We drove for a solid hour at a high rate of speed through a city full of tall office and apartment buildings.
As you probably know, China is a Communist country and there was evidence of this even as we drove to our hotel. The extremes in economic status here are stark in contrast. The buildings and apartment complexes are either opulent or very poor and run down and they exist right next to one another. The roads are not filled with many cars but the cars on the road are composed mainly of very expensive luxury cars. The sidewalks are filled with people--walking where they need to go.
I tried to check my blog(s) on the internet connection that I have in my hotel room and I couldn't get connected to them. I did some checking and found that China uses a firewall to block out many of the primary blog providers. I suspect this is an effort to suppress any form of freedom of speech that might reveal some of the things going on in the country and to discourage any online movements from within the country.
InterestinglyI I was able to get to my posting site and type this blog, even though I can't access my actual blog page. We'll see if it gets through. If you are reading it, it got through. I will try to attach at least one picture. We'll see if it gets through. All in all, China is a fascinating place and I am looking forward to my time here. I will keep you posted as I am able.
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