HHS’s own LeeAnne Klagge went to CHINA this summer!
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Between the two major cities in China that I visited, Guangzhou pulls me especially deep into my memory. I can feel the arid warmth of the smog that chokes the air I breathe, the sky scraping apartments that push into the clouds and dwarf every building I have ever seen surround me, the forests thick and wild as they clamor for space in the endless sea of faces that flow beneath them. I can hear protesting customers and shop keepers playing the raucous dance of give and take blend into the crowds who never stop surging forward, grimly eager to complete their next journey. Shoving past each other is the norm – how could it be impolite to be successful?

Every contorted tree, every shade of green and gray that streaked across Guangzhou, the odd sense of bland emptiness in Beijing despite crawling with people, the foreign laughs and conversations I’ll never understand nor hear again. I remember it all. No matter where I traveled in China, a stately dignity pervaded everything. It was in the way the boys at the kindergarten boarding school tried so hard not to cry when they left their mother’s arms for the week. It was through the people themselves that preserve this beauty and grace. I experienced their love and appreciation for academic dedication and sheer determination to succeed. I remember it all.