Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Struggling to stay online

In recent days its been hard to get throught to my usual list of websites, including this blog. The Chinese government is blocking so many of them. However, with a little help from a friend, I managed to get a proxy program that allows me to do most of what I want, aside from uploading videos to Youtube (something that apparently can't be done with proxies).

Things are going well for me here. I am just about to start preparing for final exams this weekend and after that I am just one review weekend away from a week-long vacation. I am planning to head up to Changbaishan - a mountain with a large crater lake near its summit that is situated right on the Chinese North Korean border and which supplies water to the Tumen and Yalu rivers.

Overall, I have been surprised how much I enjoy teaching. This may be due to the fact that most of the time there is little or no pressure from the manager of the school and during the regular school year I have quite a bit of free time. In general, the kids are great; cute, friendly and smart.

One of the things I have enjoyed about living in this city is the chance it affords me to wonder in the country side. Sometimes this means getting stopped by the army and having my passport checked (they are just doing there job) since I am often right on the border. They also don't let me take pictures of many of the interesting things I see in North Korea. As in the States, there is a very strange fear of cameras here. Of course I could easily view the city of Pyongyang itself, just by opening Goolge Earth and I am sure governments have much better satellite photos of this border than my rinky dink D700 could ever provide. But never the less, as is often the case (here and in the States, though more so here), idiocy prevails!

Last night's view of the Perseid meteor shower was fun. Dandong has relatively clear skies so it was easy to see the occasional shooting star. I managed to capture on shooting star with my camera. Not much to look at but it was so hard to do that I was thrilled that I got something this good.

Here are some relatively new vids that I made a long time ago and just posted to vimeo in the last few weeks.

Best wishes all!

A Springtime Ride Through the Countryside Near the NK Border from Peter Waldvogel on Vimeo.

Beijing Again from Peter Waldvogel on Vimeo.

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