Thursday, August 21, 2008

Week 25, still here

Week 25, still here

Saturday August 2. Send photos via email to NBC for cover during live shot tonight. Get picked up by two runners at 6:30 for trip to Olympic Village and head to the roof to appear on the Today Show LIVE to talk about adoption. Lester Holt is the interviewer. It is 2:30 seconds long, and get in about three brief answers. A lot of butterflies but apparently it went well. It was a blur. Stayed on the roof to watch fireworks go off for rehearsal of Opening Ceremonies and then get ride back to Elizabeth’s.

Sunday Simon drives us three hours to Stefanie’s family home in Hebei Province. Flat, non-descript drive, through a major furniture making area. Wished I’d known this before I bought my stuff. We visit her father’s trucking company and then her spacious courtyard home where she grew up with her grandparents and two siblings. This is the upside of economic reform: clearly her parents have a successful business. We have a nice lunch in a local restaurant, learn about the hungrier days of her parents’ youth. Her grandparents have only a grade school education, her parents finished high school, but she is the first to go to college. Long drive home, get stopped at security roadblock. You can feel the tension building. Had a quick dinner at Paul’s diner, then head to silk market for final purchase. Then watch silly movie with Will Farrell, blades of glory.

Monday – Head into NBC Olympic Village and hear about attacks in Kashgar that killed 16 police. Talk with Richard Engle and give him Abdul’s # to see what is really going on. I log more of Dashan, the Canadian who is famous in China. When I get home I need to refeed some material for the wushu story that got garbled in transmission last week. And then I get the edits from the World on my two pieces and they want to run Legacy that day, so I feed those elements first and in a hurry. Its nice to work on a deadline. Gets the adrenaline flowing and keeps me up half the night.

Tuesday stay home and file the second story for the World on visas and hotel vacancy. home. Later I watch “There will be blood”. Eve and Stefanie come for Eve’s birthday and I give her the laptop. She seems quiet but pleased. We first go to Lan for a drink and they think it is totally over the top, which it is. We then head to Made in China for dinner and it is somewhat disappointing.


Weds the Today Show producer Mary Alice invites me to join them at Summer Palace where the Today Show will go out LIVE for two hours tonight. Celine and two other girls are decked out to be valentines because today is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day. There is a woman from Florida, who has been at several Olympics and somehow finagles her way to the Today Show set. My camera died, but her’s worked so hopefully there will be good photos of the evening. It was a warm summer night with a breeze off the lake, a lovely peacock dancer, fan dancers, and a band playing traditional Chinese instruments with contemporary beat. Very nice. Tom Brokaw came by for a cameo appearance.

Thurs. NBC helped Brokaw with research on story on science education USA vs. China. . Evening, got word that hotel piece had not been aired yet on the World, so I reworked the tracks to freshen it up and re-fed it.

Friday 8-8-08 the day we’ve all been waiting for….I left NBC at 3 cuz of security sweep – if you came back in after 3, you were locked in for the next 12 hours, so I opted to go home. Hung around at home, went to Pete’s for margarita and enchilada all by self. Streets are eerily quiet, no one is outside. I head home and then watched the too long opening ceremony alone, in Chinese, and fell asleep. Awakened at midnight with fireworks going off over our building and all of Beijing. I had every intention of going out to Tiananmen Square and seeing the festivities and recording reaction but slept right th

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