Well after being back home from China almost a week now, I have to say I LOVE my bed! Oh and the English language :) My opportunity and experience in China was just amazing! I can remember history class in the 3rd great learning about "The Great Wall of China" and while watching tv seeing the "Terro-Cotta Warriors" never ever did I imagine I would have the opportunity to see those in real life. The site seeing and history of their country is pretty cool! And I am happy to say i've seen it all!!
So as most of you know the majority of this trip was intended for some independant studies. So while there I was able to experience China agriculture and business. The agriculture was run very differently than here in the US, this made it hard to compare in most situations. The business is also pretty different, So I found that I had to think differently while there. The small shops out of peoples tiny homes is just like any family owned business here, the people there just dont have the opportunity to expand like we do. Or when in markets you see that everyone has the same products, who do you chose to buy from? well thats where marketing comes into play! whoever can "talk up" their product best ultimately wins and makes the sale. The thing I admired alot was, at the end of the day every single park is filled with families and friends playing or couples exercising. They are able to put down everything to spend time with each other! At the end of my trip I realized although we do many things differently its all still business! Sometimes we get so busy with our rushed lives, we just need to sit back and think about the best way to do our best in any situation. And most importantly, the relationships you make with other people are what will give you a good reputation in your business and have people wanting to do business with you.
I think that over all just experiencing a different culture has taught me alot!! Not only in the agricultural or business feild but in life as well. And life lessons are good in any situation. As I mentioned earlier on about my tea ceremony experience, although I went to learn one thing, other learning experiences surprised me :) This trip alone has given me ideas and ambition!
There were so many wonderful people who supported and helped me along the way. My Dad and Mom are always there with support and encouragement, and even there with extra when I need it! All my friends and family of course, and everyone that was excited to follow my blog just made it a little more exciting :) So many people from NMSU were there with support and helped so much getting my trip set up! Rich Phillips, Dr. Gary Lowe, and Albina Armijo all with Aggies Go Global, and Dr. Ken Hammond with the Confucius Institute. One person did SO much for me I could never thank her enough, Jane!! Jane lives in Beijing and always has. She was my main contact when setting this trip up. Jane didnt only plan a few things for me, but she took me to it all and made it all so much fun! I can truly say I made a new friend and I hope she comes to visit me soon!! I met many people In China, some just on the streets and some (like Lisa mentioned earlier) were contacts from family or friends here in the U.S. I really appreciate you all!!!
So there it is, my Super Amazing Wonderful and a little bit Crazy Experience in CHINA!!!
Well my flight to Shanghai went well. Once I arrived in Shanghai, Lisa (One of the nicest ladies I've met) picked me up at my hotel and we walked the town. Later that night we met her family for dinner. :) The following day, tuesday, I took a subway down to see the entire world in 1 day, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The building and displays at the Expo were amazing! You would never believe how big the crowd was, luckily I was able to get into 5 coutries and they were great!!
On Wednesday, my last day, I visited some of the highest buildings in Shanghai. And also walked along the Bund (a walk along the river close to downtown) the city is very huge, and a great site to see!
My trip to China was over-all AMAZING!!!!! If you check back in a few days to a week I will have a re-cap of everything I learned from this crazy yet woderful experience!! :)
Friday afternoon Myself and Jane visited the Agricultural University in Beijing. I got a tour of the whole place, checked out their wine testing facilities, and visited with the Dean of the College. The Dean was very interested in telling me anything I would like to know. He taught me some different ways they plant in China, like inter croppng and double cropping. He also told me about how they irrigate and where they get their water supply. At the end of the tour I was lucky enough to get a bottle of their Agricultural University Beijing wine :)
Friday evening I took an over night train to Xi'an. Once in Xi'an I walked around the down town area. I visited the Bell and Drum towers and the City wall, which surrounds the old city. Today I booked a tour to visit a few places. My tour was very enjoyable, and everyone on the tour was very nice (it was nice to speak english and understand a few people all day too) We first stopped at the Wild Goose Pagoda, then a Jade factory, and on to the Terra-Cotta Warrior Factory, then to see all the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Museum. Everything I saw today was very interesting and taking the tour was very beneficial, I learned way more than if I had went on my own.
The weather the last few days has been pretty rainy. I have had a few days to see some more sites. I visited the Temple of Heaven, which is where the Emperors worshiped the heavens, The Lama Temple, and did alot of walking seing some interesting things. I enjoyed watching the retired people dancing for excercise and kids playing in parks.
Today I will visit the Agricultural University, and see their small farms on campus. I will then depart to Xi'an by train tonight. I will stay in Xi'an 2 days , then fly to Shanghai stay there 2 days and then fly to Beijing ... then HOME :)
On tuesday we took a ride out into the country (which is still the city, but what they call country) We drove about 2 hours to get to Peach Valley. There are miles and miles of peach trees, it is a very pretty site. In arly April there is a peach festival, when all all the trees are blooming I think this would be a nice time to visit :) The farmer that we visited owned only 300 trees, which was passed down generation to generation. Him and his wife tended to the 300 trees all on their own, their only son moved to work construction. After walking around for awhile the family cooked us lunch, a real home cooked beijing meal. The trip to Peach Valley was very nice, a little break from huge city to smaller city.
WOW!! I have seen so many wonderful things here, and met some very nice people! Although the Hutong experience wasnt the greatest I am very glad I was able to really see how the people here live. Now that I am in the more modern area of Bejing it is very easy to walk or take a subway to some of the beautiful sites. In the last few days I have been able to visit the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, 2008 Olympic Stadium, and some other wonderful sites. The Forbidden City is where the Emperors and other important people lived and worked. The Summer Palace was their vacation spot and where they went to play. The buildings are very very beautiful and there is alot to see! Today I experienced pushy sales people at the Silk Market, bargaining with them was alot of fun, and I came out with some pretty good deals!
Since I have been in China I have experienced both traditional and modern living. Yesterday I visited a morning market. A morning market is the same as a farmers market, locals purchase most of their produce at these markets. Today I visited a wholesale market, this is where local restaurant owners purchase large amounts of their produce for cooking. Also sellers at the morning markets purchase produce from the wholesale markets to resale. I had originally assumed the morning markets would be farmers selling their own products (like farmers markets in America) but out of probably 50 vendors only 3 had actually grown their products. The produce at these markets were very fresh, I think locals in China are very lucky to have this availibility. In America many people take advantage of the ease of buying pre-made foods, and lose out on the quality of fresh produce. In China everything is so close so everyone walks everywhere. I would love to be able to walk 5 minutes to a fresh farmers market every day, but of course I wouldnt like to give up other amentities they dont have here. :)
Another very exciting experience happened today! Throughout the past few years I have had many small business ideas I would possibly like to open some day. One idea was to open a "Personal Tea Party" business. Well while in a huge tea market today, I was able to experience the traditional Chinese tea ceremony (for the 2nd time since i've been here) while sampleing many different qualities of tea, I began to plan more on my tea party business in my head. The idea of offering a traditional Chinese tea ceremony was very exciting to me, Plus I already have contacts for supplies here in China!! Although I came to learn about agricultural, I think I may have learned something else just as exciting!!
Well here I am in Beijing, China, and I can't say its all that I expected. There was definitely a shock for a few days, but I think I am finally adjusting. Wednesday, June 9th. the day of my arrival I got to experience downtown Beijing, China and some traditional Chinese food. On Thursday, June 10th. I traveled to The Great Wall of China which was AMAZING and in the afternoon to an organic farm. The farms in China are very different (in some ways) from American farms. The actual farming practices are similar but the way they are run are different. I had originally assumed the farm was run by an individual or a family, after getting laughed at I realized that is not very easy to find a family farm in China. Most farms are run by the government and farmers/farm workers are hired by the government. This specific farm has contracts with local markets as well as markets in Hong Kong. Because this farm is an organic farm we discussed several different ways they keep the pests off their plants, such as bug zappers and sticky paper. The guy joked, “we are creating a bug that eats all the bad bugs.” The farm was very interesting but not quite as advanced as American farms. Of course being an American I stick out like a soar thumb, I have had many people (especially at the Great Wall) try to sneak pictures of them standing by me, a few even asked to take a picture with me. :) Today Friday, June 11th. I will be visiting the Forbidden City, and also seeking out some more familiar food for my stomach!!