The sky is throwing my sense of time off. Due to the smog, it feels like it is constant dusk, without the reprieve from the heat. If you read this, Nelson: remember when I pointed out the blue sky on Friday? I miss that blue. And clouds. I can't see clouds, they, too, are obscured. Imagine it being constantly 7 P.M. with midday heat, due to the greenhouse effect caused by those gases.

On a random note, here the consequences of global warming can clearly be seen. Pollution is not invisible. The effect can also be visible and affect morale. Imagining this over Miami is intolerable. Never seeing a truly blue sky, nor a cloud, and a constant arid heat is reason enough to halt pollution in its tracks. I dare those politicians to come spend these 5 months with me in my dormitory and finish by still spouting the virtues of ignoring global warming. It is not even about the economy, the effect on our status in the world, about our guilt, about multilateral agreements and cooperation.

It is about doing what is right and good, and that is taking care of our home. That's all.

1:14 P.M.

I have left the confines of my room for the time being. WHile I find that I can find rest and reprieve from the heat there, it begins to have a negative effect after while and I start to feel the onset of depression and desperation, so I go out for a walk. I found an oasis with a pond and many trees, and this heartens me, although merely taking out the laptop worries me; I don't want to give the impression of wealth to anyone. I am looking for a computer cafe on campus, but there seems to be none. This does not trouble me, for I have found many things where I thought there were none; I just found a relatively large market next to my dorm, so I now know where I can purchase necessities. I hope to find an internet cafe soon, so that I may send emails to my family and friends. Should I not find one on campus soon, I will start to venture outside of these walls, and hope for the best. I am under the impression that internet cafes are quite commonplace.

1:57 P.M.

Time crawls by slowly, but it seems that each hour is an event, so it is not that bad. Upon further wandering, I found more gardens and more buildings than I thought there were. I entered one which had air conditioning, open doors, and a welcome mat. Inside, it was quite nice, and suddenly became much nicer upon discovering a goodly amount of computers. Overjoyed, I walked rapidly to the doors, and noticed that it did not open till 2-2:30. No matter, at least I know that there are computers and that they will hopefully connect to the internet.

It was rather hot, so I contemplated going to my dormitory for another shower, when I was stopped by a Chinese student. She began to ask me things in a mix of Chinese and English, and I was pleased to hear that she was in a similar situation that I was (in regards to language proficiency), except reversed. We quickly struck a friendship, and she offered to introduce me to a group of friends and people in general that were in need of an English speaker. Exciting, although, I cannot contact her until I establish an internet connection. I will have to find a way to communicate to Mr. Ma, my guide here at BLCU. Using a phone here is unusually complex.

Furthermore, she directed me to an "internet bar" (American internet cafes are for nerds, Chinese internet bars are for hardcore drinkers [kidding!]) which lies, unfortunately, outside of the school, across an intersection. While filled with trepidation, I am also anxious to communicate with you, dear family and friend, and I think it is worth the risk.

On a different note, I have been accessing my current situation, and I think it is not bad at all, with a couple of exceptions. I have to establish a line of communications with my family and friends abroad, in order to give me a morale boost and to ease the worries of my parents. Furthermore, I have to secure funds and assure that I have access to them, so that I may be able to eat and sleep in peace.

As for eating, I think I should be fine. I have converted a mere 40$ into RMB, and it has lasted me quite a bit, not withstanding that accursed taxi ride. I think the amount I have on my person should suffice for about a month, in regards to eating.

My other concerns are trivial and should be resolved upon getting the scholarships from FIU and, hopefully, the loan. A power strip, a subscription to the gym, and money for phone calls and internet access are all luxuries, but they are simple luxuries that would make everything far more bearable on the whole. Should you be reading this, know that I have found success in finding the internet bar. If not, then later on I shall quest for the office of Mr. Ma, since I am useless with a phone here.

And, please, do not be disheartened by what you read. This is all rather predictable. While being the first is rather prestigious, it is also always very hard, and considerable obstacles are to be expected. After these few rough bumps, it should be smooth sailing. I just have to survive these squalls first.

I also expect that my entries will be a little shorter and a little more scarce as I have more activities to fill my schedule. I hate standing around with little to do, and that is the situation I find myself in.

On a final note, (I promise) I am worried about something other than money. Due to the intense heat, I have to imbibe a lot of water. Of course, I don't want to waste a lot of money on water, so I refill the bottle with tap water. This troubles me considerably. While I have great faith in the American public water system, I have my doubts about the Chinese equivalent. If they cannot keep their air clean, what does that say about their waters? Regardless, I must drink or suffer from dehydration, but that fear is constantly there.

Now, this room got oppressive fast, so I must now take my exit, replenish my bottle, take a quick shower to wash away the grime and make my first trek outside of the school. Let's hope I survive the crossing.

I'm quite serious about that last statement.