Guest Bloggers Ashley Massey and Michelle Blood
On Saturday, May 18th, we went to the memorial for Dr. Sun Yet Sen in the morning. We climbed 392 steps to reach the Memorial. Next We saw the “beam-less” hall, which is a Buddhist temple with no wooden beam supports. It was all brick and concrete; an architectural masterpiece! After that, we climbed a 9 story Pagoda which used to house Buddhist scriptures. A Pagoda can aways be found by a Buddhist temple. The only way up and down was via a narrow, spiral staircase! Lots of dizzy people going counterclockwise up 9 stories!
We were the center of attention a lot of the time. Several people were taking pictures of our group and some even asked us to pose with them or just jumped into our group pictures!
About noon, we traveled to Nanjing Forestry University. We were warmly welcomed by everyone there! We had a beautiful lunch full of spicy and tasty surprises. We had the usual fresh fish and vegetables, the REAL wanton soup, and sweet and sour pork. Next we visited a museum on the campus where we learned about the founding and history of NFU. We also toured the campus and attended a presentation about NFU. NFU is very similar to NC State! 30,000 students and their campus is huge with lots of greenery! They have about 20 different colleges and a wide variety of majors, including pulp and paper science engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and different sciences. Just like the Pulp & Paper Foundation at NCSU, Dr. Hou-Min Chang (retired professor at NC State and PIE trip coordinator) stated a Foundation at NFU in 2006. The foundation gives scholarships for students to attend and study pulping and papermaking technology. This is the only foundation of its kind in China.
After the presentation, we were able to meet their paper science students. This was the most fun we have had so far! We also met three students who will be coming to graduate school at NCSU this August. Then they spoiled us with another delicious dinner. Afterwards, Joshua (a Chinese student coming to NCSU this fall) hosted us at a local Karaoke establishment. Karaoke is a BIG thing here. We had our own room and sang for two straight hours. EVERYONE, yes even Dr. Byrd and Jennifer, sang! The Chinese students are much better than we are!
Sunday we head out to Jinan on a high speed train . . . . look out . . . . 190 mph here we come!