We have had a crazy week--one that has been overall positive and exciting, but extremely draining emotionally and physically for a gabillion reasons. Luckily, Alison's roommate from NYC, Kim, and her new roommate from Guangzhou, Maisha, are in town, so we've been much more busy in the evenings, going out to dinner or drinks every night, etc. It's so fun to have house guests, though it does make for much less sleep. Alison will post about their visit, so I won't steal her thunder.
Sarah and I have been working super-hard with our American PI, Dr. Smith, the last few days. In the 52 hours she was in Beijing, she made final revisions for the papers we're doing with her (her final revisions, though, mean we each have tons of work left), help us set up our future papers, and edited other papers. She also came to watch us give talks to the China CDC. Knowing she was in the audience was intimidating as I couldn't just start talking faster so no one could understand me if I messed up (my normal strategy), but it went well.
Now we have about 300 things to do before we leave, but, as they say, you can't stop time...and come Sunday evening, we'll be on our flight to LAOS!!!!
Amusing sidenote: We don't have TV, but apparently the government is using the advent of Chinese New Year to amp up their propaganda. Recently, they've been promoting their airforce, saying they're about to have the most advanced planes in the world, the US is afraid of rising Chinese dominance, yadda yadda yadda. As evidence, they broadcast on national TV a "prototype plane" in "test flights." Turns out, their footage was lifted from the movie Top Gun.