Friday, April 21, 2006

Falun Gong Protest

I work about a block from the White House (17th and G St.) so have walked through Chinese Falun Gong protests the past 2 days. Yesterday I would have called it almost comical, as the shouts were in Chinese, and I couldn't read any of the signs. Indeed, there were many confused Americans wandering around near the protest. Evidently the protestors got the picture, as today they had nearly all signs in English and were handing out pamphlets about the protest. As I understand it (and to be honest, I know much less about the issue as I'd like to), because China is a Communist country the people are not allowed to pursue religion. Falun Gong, apparently somewhat like Tai Chi, is a meditative practice of many Chinese. The desperate looks on the faces of two young women who approached me this morning at the protest was enough to spark tears on the rest of my walk to work. I wonder how these people view President Bush and the richest U.S. man, Bill Gates, giving the Chinese President such a warm welcome to our country. To me, it signifies we must be beginning to understand our new place in the world economy. I have heard more than one economist refer to the U.S.'s new place in the future world GNP as "China's farm."
In light of the fact these protests are getting such little press (besides the one woman who shouted at Bush & Hu from the camera stand), I thought it was worthy of sharing with everyone. Let us always hope for a world more accepting of different religious views.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Spring in DC!

Spring is a blast in DC. Nathan and I braved the crowds during the Cherry Blossom Festival, which was spectacular. I've never seen so many people (nor have I ever paid $7 for a bag of sugared nuts), and it was an unforgettable experience.
I started a new full time job this week in the Engineering Management Dept. at GWU. Basically, I took the job because, besides giving us an extra salary, it will pay almost 100% of my tuition. Exciting! The job sucks, but what can you do? I'm still happy with school and only a few weeks away from the end of the semester. Then it's on to summer school and a much needed 2-month break.
In other news, my cell phone is basically dead (it's been slowly dying the past few weeks), so e-mail is the best way to reach me for probably the next week or so. I'm too busy to take a shower let alone find a Verizon Wireless kiosk.
We are going to Williamsburg this weekend to get away from the big-city bustle and (oh my god) the tourists. Fun!
I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the spring. Anyone have big summer plans?


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