If you follow the news at all you may be aware of the fact that in recent weeks the Uyghurs have been making the front page. There were riots in the the northwest area of China, as Uyghur people responded to other violence in Guang Dong province. This was more than just a retaliation from these events, but a culmination of years of frustration over not having their own country.
As a result of the recent violence among the Uyghurs the government where I live also decided to shut down Internet activity and block international calls in hopes of preventing this incident from spreading to some of the other Central Asian countries where Uyghurs live (Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India).
The university I attend took further precautions this week by sending all of their foreign students home for summer vacation. They did not want to be responsible for us while school was not in session. So on Tuesday I was called into the Dean's office and told that I had 3-5 days to pack up my stuff and return to Canada. Students are invited to return for their studies at the beginning of September.
Friday morning I jumped on a plane and after more than 28 hours of travel I called my parents from our hometown airport. They had no idea I was coming home (since I had been unable to really contact them), and I think they really liked the surprise of knowing I was here.
My return plans are still uncertain at the moment, as I had already notified the school that I do not plan to continue my studies in the fall, but instead pursue a business opportunity. The paper work needed for my work visa is also currently on hold.
I did dye my fingernails with Henna the night before I headed out and told all my old Uyghur lady friends that I hoped to be back before all the colour grew out and my nails turned back to normal colour (that gives me about 2 months).