Blogs from China, Asia - page 8


Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang June 15th 2014

Dunhuang We drove across more desert on the way to Dunhuang. By the middle of the day we left Xinjiang Province, where we have spent all of our time so far in China. After driving across at least 100 miles of nothing, Dunhuang appears. No high rise apartments or big buildings here. It is amazing how much agriculture there is here. It is an old Silk Road oasis town. It seems that many of the Silk Road towns ate agricultural regions. That makes sense of they were supporting the camel trains. There is a huge sand dune south of town, and some old caves to see tomorrow. I have no intention of taking a camel ride, though. ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Yan'an June 15th 2014

Last week we were lucky enough to go spend a couple days with our friend Sherry in her hometown. It is a place called Yan’an, which is about three hours away by train. It is in the northern part of Shaanxi province, near the border of Shanxi province. In the last blog I spoke of all of the “barely made it” situations that we encountered, but this time, we didn’t barely make it. We had an 8:30 train and we left our school at 7:30, which should be plenty of time to make it to the train station and to the platform, but because this city has so many people, we got off the bus with six minutes to spare. We ran as fast as we could to the ticket booth only to realize that the ... read more
Sherry is adorable.
Dancing friends!

Asia » China » Gansu » Jiayuguan June 14th 2014

DESERT CAMP: 13 June 2014. 127kms distance. Today was my second day in the vehicle. Ok but you certainly experience China more when on the bike. The scenery changed from lush vegetation to desert terrain within 20 Kms. Dramatic change. When arrived at camp site it literally felt like desolation. But as the morning passed, it's beauty grew on me. Vast emptiness. Then the wind, cold and rain arrived, the temperature dropping 15C within 15 minutes. Very cold. 2 hrs later it cleared and the mountain range with snow caps appeared briefly before being hidden behind cloud again. The cyclists began arriving talking tales of woe about rain, headwinds, and cold. A little tent city grew, looking interesting. A subdued afternoon largely spent in the tent because of coolness. Prior to dinner, wind abated and we ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 14th 2014

June 15, 2014 (Chengdu) Up early this morning to pack and head off to the airport by 6 am. We had a full, busy day yesterday - finishing up the Ophthalmology meeting, then meeting with administration the remainder of the day to model out the International Eye Care Wing and begin preparing the implementation plan. We finished off the day with the inevitable "hot pot" dinner - at a new venue in a cool part of town near the hotel. Its always such a special time with all our friends from SPPH - many of them we've seen here on an annual basis for over a decade. We also have had the pleasure of our "alumni" residents coming back for our visit from their placements in rural Sichuan and join us for the dinner. Moving forward ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Hami June 14th 2014

Hami Hami is an agricultural area famous for mellons. They are everywhere this time of year. We got stopped by the police again so they could check our passports and take pictures of our bikes. I followed my GPS down a non street, through an underpass populated by scooters, along some skinny streets, and finally got to the hotel. I had the biggest moped in town. I barely fit between the barriers. We ate at a local hole in the wall, had a great meal, met a bunch of locals, and got free beer from the restaurant owner. Everyone was happy.... read more


Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 13th 2014

June 13, 2014 (Chengdu) A few of us are still waking up at 4 or 5 am local time, but today we actually had something to the opening match of the FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia (Brazil 3-1!). After an early breakfast, we headed to the conference center - a different location than we've been before - for the International Sichuan Ophthalmology Symposium. Several hundred attendees and a large number of ophthalmic industry exhibitors filled the space. It was an impressive venue, and watching Kenny Lai's video of optic nerve sheath decompression on a screen made up of 24 large screen TVs (6 X 4 65" flat screens) was pretty cool. In addition to our team's presentations, there were quite a few more faculty from prominent institutes in Eastern China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou) ... read more
Opening Speeches
Dr. Farris Presenting

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 13th 2014

June 14, 2014 (Chengdu) Just some random photos from the trip...... read more
Teaching Rounds
Tyler at the Whiteboard
Kevin at the Whiteboard

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Turpan June 13th 2014

Turpan From Urumqi we headed east to Turpan across more desert. There are dozens of miles of wind farms along the way, vastly larger than any I have seen in the US. The Turpan basin reaches 150 meters below sea level. It is a lot like Death Valley, low, dry, and hot. We went through early in the day, so it was only 102. Turpan is surprisingly large and green, with tree lined streets and lots of activity. It was still hot, but more pleasant than the desert.... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 12th 2014

June 12, 2014 (Chengdu) The morning was spent at SPPH where we spent time with Dr. Wu (Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology) preparing the business plan for the international eye wing in the hospital. We had done most of the work last year, but somehow there wasn't the political willpower to get it implemented, so there was a renewed optimism to do it this year. We put a powerpoint presentation together and will send that to the VP of the Hospital to share with his staff. The afternoon was spent at the University that the SPPH hospital was just recently affiliated with, and where they will house the new Medical School just recently announced by Dr. Yang. The University of Electronic Science and Technology of China is one of the country's top IT schools, with ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 12th 2014

June 12, 2014 (Chengdu) We spent the misty drizzly afternoon meeting with the administration of the UESTC. Late last year, a partnership was developed between UESTC and SPPH to advance the University's life sciences program and develop a new medical school. Dr. Richard Yang, vice-president of SPPH, has worked hard to get the collaboration going. UESTC is a premiere, top tier, Chinese "Ivy League" university - but its focus has been on information technology. It does have a robust life sciences curriculum already, but the desire was to develop a medical school program. They saw the ophthalmology center we are developing with SPPH as a great trial balloon on the approach of integrating international specialists, academic institutions and large hospital systems to develop a unique, world-class medical school. The student body at UESTC is among the ... read more
Recent Graduates Celebrating in the Mist
UESTC Main Campus Building
Strolling through UESTC Campus with Dr. Yang

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