The trip to which I alluded in my previous post has begun! (Correction: It turns out that it was a trans-Pacific flight, so I actually traveled west.) I arrived in Hong Kong and have enjoyed spending the past few days with old friends and making new ones. I was here a year ago as part of a summer program at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) teaching secondary school students on the topic of “Effective Communication through the Lens of Rap and Spoken Word.” Though I felt some pressure to shadow a vet or do research like many of my friends are doing, I realized that time is of the essence in terms of being able to travel while in vet school. With my penultimate summer break, I decided it was best to return to Hong Kong and mainland China.
The purpose of this summer’s trip is twofold. First and foremost, I came to teach about One Health, a concept to which I was introduced only upon beginning my education at Tufts. So far, most people with whom I speak about it need clarification as to what exactly it is; One Health is not yet a mainstream term. Second, I hope to take away some of the Chinese perspectives on public health and environmental safety. HKU and the Affiliated High School of Peking University in Beijing are the venues for the classes, which begin next week. I am already getting excited for what should be a great exchange! A professor of mine suggested several teaching modules designed for USAID RESPOND to inform the content and style of my teaching. Also, the Duke Global Health Institute, CDC, and One Health Initiative websites are very valuable resources and have a wealth of information for those interested in learning more.
In addition to the academic and cultural exchange, I am excited to go sightseeing in and around Beijing. The Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) are of particular interest. Speaking about our avian friends, I hope to pay a visit to the Beijing Raptor Rescue Center, established by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). I learned about the center when an IFAW disaster response manager gave a lunch talk at Tufts in January, but I had no idea at the time that I would have the opportunity to visit! Wildlife conservation is extremely important, and it will be interesting to see the work being done at this site in Beijing. I look forward to sharing more about the experiences that lie ahead.