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About Me

The ancient Celts had a passionate conviction that they must undertake a pilgrimage of what was essentially an inner journey. Often this journey was facilitated by an outward journey. They wandered. They understood themselves to be hospites mundi, guests of the world.

Be on your best behavior: you are a guest.

Trust the world: it will take care of you.

In February 1986, I woke from sleep at 5:45 a.m. when a panic attack dumped a bucket of rats on my bed. “Here are your thoughts, Reva,” it said. I sat up and tried to breathe. It was difficult. I loved being a nurse, but I was sick of it.

What on earth would I do with the rest of my life? I worked on breathing until the answer came to me: I would write.

Since then, I have written medical policies, patient education materials, short stories, social and political commentaries, poems and a book.

I also took up traveling. I have been to Denmark, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Kenya, Bolivia, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China. My travels in China inspired the book. I call it I Ran Away to China: Three years in the next superpower.

I Ran Away to China puts a personal and empathetic face on the underground news from China. I taught English from 1998 to 2001 in the city of Shenzhen, China. Six months after arriving, I met a Uyghur woman. Like the Tibetans, this Muslim minority group considers its country along the Silk Road to be occupied by China. As her people fear genocide and are little known, she urged me to write about them.

So I did. I hung out Xinjiang where you still find billboards of Mao Zedong, the great helmsman of Chinese socialism, and I taught English in Shenzhen where there is a billboard featuring Deng Xiao Ping, the founder of capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

You never know what you’re going to find on a pilgrimage. I found a the superpower of the twenty-first century. Maybe.

• SYNOPSIS
• PROLOGUE
• CHAPTER 1
• CHAPTER 2
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© 2008 Reva Rasmussen
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Photo by Stuart Harder
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