Week 2 began with a trip to a Buddhist temple. In China there are many Buddhist temples mainly in the mountains. As we are walking through the temple I noticed all of the bright colors and the figures on buildings. There were many pictures depicting dragons various other animals, and of course Buddha. After the temple we went back to the lake we were at week 1. We wanted to take taxis to get home, but didn’t want to pay for them, so we devised a plan to get across the lake with the boats you could rent, but once we got to the other side the worker wasn’t having it and turned us back around right where we started. Two hours later we ended up spending the money for the cab. Looking back on that whole situation I can’t help but laugh because in our heads it was a great idea and it failed.
On Sunday we went to Doctor Sun Yat Sens Mausoleum. Doctor Sun was a very important man in Chinas history who treated many of the sick and eventually became the president of China. It was 95 degrees outside and the walk was long. Once you get to the mausoleum it’s another 400 steps to get to the top, and the reasoning for this is to show the people of China that the journey is long and nothing comes easy. Once I got to the top I realized it was long journey and there will be a long road ahead of me as a person to grow and learn.
On Monday we did not go to class and instead visited some companies. The first one was China Unicom and China Unicom is one of the largest telecom companies in China. When we toured the facility, I was impressed with all the work they have done. They are also in the process of bringing 5G to life. We went on a bus that had 5G on it and were blown away by the speed of the technology.
The second half of the day we toured an incubator where people with the proper resources gather to work on different projects. Half way through the tour guide brought us into a room with over a hundred tea kettles. We sat down and he said the problem with todays society is that everyone is in a rush and no one sits down to enjoy the simple things. He showed us how to brew Chinese tea the traditional way. We then enjoyed a cup of black teas, which was phenomenal. We then discussed his journey and his experiences and how he got to where he is today. He was probably one of the most interesting people I have ever talked to because when he speaks he uses philosophy to explain his logic. He would say things like slow is faster, which looking back at it he is probably right. Rushing through things and getting them done quickly makes you miss so many points
In the class room we began to really work on our project that we had to present at the end of the class. Our project was called Life Pod and is an emergency shelter that can be set up by four unskilled laborers during times of crisis and natural disaster. For the project we really began to dig deep into the specifics like the business model canvas, competitors, and the overall market for our product. We had our presentation Friday and I felt we did well as a group and that Life Pod can be a useful product.
I learned a lot of new things from my group members and the students themselves. It’s interesting to think that a group of strangers who have never met before can just become so close and create close friendships in such a short amount of time. I think one of the greatest lessons I learned after completing this project is that life is all about adapting to certain situations and being able to overcome certain obstacles that can be very challenging. The most difficult part about this trip has been the language barrier. Communication is an important part of our daily lives and for the past two weeks I have had to really try hard to get by. Pointing at items to shop keepers using my body to communicate it’s been a challenge however at the same time it’s been fun, watching people’s reactions and getting excited when we finally get what we want. The people of China are probably the friendliest I’ve ever met and for that I am grateful for being able to study in a country where the people are accepting.
Next stop Beijing!!!
Top of the mausoleum