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Morrison discusses experience in China

August 10, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

For the past two years, David Morrison of Traer has worked overseas in China for the US State Department and returned to his hometown on Monday, August 6 to talk about his experience during a presentation at the Traer Public Library.

Morrison, a 2006 graduate of North Tama High School, worked as a visa officer in the US Embassy in Beijing, interviewing Chinese citizens that wish to travel to the US and either granting their status or denying them a visa. Having studied Political Science and International Studies at Iowa State University, Morrison wanted to travel the world and learn more, jokingly adding "on someone else's dime." His need for travel led him to the State Department and eventually training for nine months before heading off to China.

"A lot of people here knew I was over in China, but no one knew what I was doing over there," Morrison said. "I'd post pictures on social media and today was talking about my job at the Embassy and what the purpose of it is. I also wanted to talk about what people don't see about China off travel shows/magazine, how daily life really is there."

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Throughout the presentation, Morrison showed pictures of his travels, reflected on Chinese culture and life in China in general. During his two years, Morrison visited all 23 provinces of the country, discussing economics, policies and human rights issues viewed negatively in the US.

"The hardest part about living in China is the fact there are so many people and it's hard to have some space to yourself," Morrison said. "Wherever I went, people were staring at me and I missed the anonymity here in the states going about my day."

But Morrison mainly described his experience as a positive one, growing to learn more about Chinese culture and being able to travel. He is now spending a vacation in the US before his next training session to learn Arabic and eventually move to Baghdad, Iraq. While in Iowa to visit family and the Iowa State Fair before traveling across the country, Morrison wanted to present his experience to his hometown and everyone that had followed him through social media. It was at that time Rosanne Foster, Director of the Traer Public Library, reached out to him about a presentation. In addition to his presentation, the library also provided samples of Chinese food for attendees during this free event.

"I enjoyed being able to bring China to Traer because many people barely leave the state, let alone the country," Morrison said. "Growing up, I liked hearing from people who went around to world. I was able to learn about these other places and it was nice to be able to do that myself, bringing it back to people here. I hope this broadens people's view of the world."



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