Digging a Hole to China: A Memoir on Teaching and Traveling

Digging a Hole to China: A Memoir on Teaching and Traveling


Document Type



DIGGING A HOLE TO CHINA is part travel writing, part memoir. Each chapter can be read as an individual essay or as part of the narrative. Laima Vince relocates to Hong Kong to teach at a Chinese international school (2013 - 2015). While she is in Hong Kong the Umbrella Revolution breaks out. Students and teachers in Hong Kong find themselves on opposing sides of the demonstrations. Some support mainland China while others dream of universal suffrage and democracy for Hong Kong. While living and working in Hong Kong Laima begins to understand the complex society that is today's China. This book chronicles life in Hong Kong as the region transitions from a former colony of Great Britain into a semi-autonomous city in China. Today's Hong Kong is a cultural crossroad between East and West. Contemporary Asia is a mixture of the ancient and the modern. Laima Vince documents the diverse voices of contemporary Asia while teaching, traveling,and exploring. Among the many people, whose lives she documents in this book, there is Michael, a mainland Chinese who grew up in a province of China and drew his community's discontent by learning English. Then there is Hans, a member of the Dusun Head Hunter's tribe of Borneo, who grew up in a traditional society in which his grandmother, a Baba Hasan, or medicine woman, could coax a breeze out of the sky. And there is Mariana, one of the last Macanese in Macau, a young archeologist striving to preserve her rapidly vanishing culture. During the two years chronicled in this book (2013 - 2015) Laima takes a 56-hour train ride from Guangzhou to Tibet; hikes through the rain forest with a descendant of Head Hunters; goes island hopping across the turquoise waters of the Philippines with three generations of a Filipino family in a fragile bamboo boat; together with her students builds a house from palm tree fronds in a Cambodian village; and stands with Hong Kong's student protestors as they politely request the Chinese government to respect their right to universal suffrage.



Publication Date





Scotts Valley, CA


English Language and Literature

Digging a Hole to China: A Memoir on Teaching and Traveling