In China

I have had the enormous good fortune to have been invited to speak with graduate students in the Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology, Lanzhou University. My host, the wonderful Kuo-Ray Mao, has been the most gracious host a person can every hope for. Beijing is mind-boggling in its scope and complexity; after a day of visiting the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace on the Kunming Lake (as well as a pearl factory… more on that later), last night I was taken to a concert at the National Center for Performing Arts, a remarkable building reminding me of the opera house in Cardiff, Wales – iconic, bold, grand, infused with grandeur and national identity.

Tomorrow morning we leave early for Lanzhou. I am orienting my mind towards the entirely different cultural, political, social contexts in which I will be speaking. I will also be offering a workshop focusing on the research methodologies. I am incredibly excited and honored.

(I am staying at a stunning hotel in the old district, adjacent to the Xhihua Temple, home of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall… )

I shall update soon!

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