Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 1

I'm in China! That's crazy! Haha.

Anyway, the flights over went smoothly. I'm pretty sure I lost feeling in my butt at one point during the 13 hour flight though. As soon as I arrived the Olympic volunteers (locals) hounded me with assistance. It's been wonderful. Everywhere you go, they smile and greet you and genuinely want to assist you in any way possible. It's quite humbling. When I arrived at my apartment building, one of the bellboys grabbed my bag and showed me to my suite. When we were getting on the elevator, he let me go in first, and then asked "May I come in?" I was thrown off for a second, but quickly responded "Yes you may." Haha. I thought to myself "Of course you can! You have my bag." Anyway, he was very kind and showed me to my apartment suite. All the suites have 4 single bedrooms. The accommodations greatly exceeded my expectations. The bellboy asked me what time in the mornings it was okay to come clean my room, and how often they should do it. I had no idea, so I said 10am every 2 days, and, of course, I've only been here one night, and my room was clean when I got in this afternoon. It's amazing how well we are treated here. I feel like I should tip these people but they won't take it.

I don't start work until the morning of the 4th (tomorrow), so I spent today walking around and whatnot. A group of us (Asbury students/grads) went to church this morning at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship. It was pretty cool. Dr. Owens (Media Department Chair at Asbury) was there with his family, so it was good to see him. Afterwards, Adam, Jeremy, Nick, Tim and I went to the International Broadcast Center (IBC) to report in and pick up our uniforms. We got lost real easily. It was quite the experience. We laughed a ton today. I think we made our impression as the loud and jovial (yes, I used the word "jovial") Americans here in Beijing. We realized we were the only ones talking and laughing on the buses and subway. It was hilarious. At one point, we were all squished together on the bus and cracking up, and when the doors opened, a man took a picture of us...weird. After the IBC, we came back to the Media Village (where we live) and rested until dinner. Around 30 of us Asburians went out to eat with Dr. Owens and his family at a really good Italian place. We were there a while tellin stories and laughing (stupid loud Americans as usual).

On a sad note, my plan had been to go to the Great Wall today, but we spent so much time getting lost at the IBC that we ran out of time. My hope is that I will get a chance to go before I leave.

When we checked in at the IBC, our supervisor explained our jobs to us a bit more. I'm an ENG assist which basically means that I work as a handheld camera assistant along with a few others, and we go around and shoot footage for some events (not all). We will be covering a few events over the first week, and the second week we will be doing more of a documentary. Our supervisor told us that we wouldn't be working too late, and that things will slow down as the days roll on, which is much different than what we had expected after hearing horror stories from past Olympics. So, although we're aware that we'll still be working hard for long hours at certain points, we were relieved to hear that it won't be as crazy as it has been in the past.

Well, I'm beat, and I start work in the morning, so it's time to get to bed for me. I will update as often as I can.


PS The interpretor during the church service called Lebron James, "Lebarn." It was hilarious


Chaz said...

Andy,sounds like you're having a great time! I will be praying for you and ol' pops.

Ekemeister said...

This is pretty sweet :). I wonder how many hours we are apart? Even in Hungary you're still on the other side of the world...
Be well dude, don't fall in love with any Chinese girls (unless you want to)

Joni Dodd said...

hi... so nice to hear about everything so far! Im jealous.

mckenziecarter said...

brother, im praying for u! enjoy it out there, i know ull have a blast!

Bronwyn said...

Hey Andy,
WOW! What a start. So glad you are are safe and having fun. What an experience. Can't wait to read had Sarah and I giggling at your comments :-)
Aunt Bronwyn

Bronwyn said...

Hi Andy,
So glad to see you are good. Thanks for keeping us updated. Sarah and I had fun reading about the start of your great adventure! Love you so much!!!
Aunt Bronwyn