This morning seemed much cooler than yesterday due to heavy, misty cloud cover, and after another plentiful breakfast we gathered for the official team photo. We massed in front of the "rock" in full Earthwatch T-shirt regalia. Carrying packed lunches of rice and fruits we headed out for today's mission: to conquer another 9 plots a little further up the mountain. Dr. Pei provided some quick Tai-Chi lessons which doubled as our physical warm-up routine and his amazing flexibility and fluidity led us to knick-name him "Jackie Chan" (I know the "slice the watermelon" move will be with us all forever.).
Because the first day presented us with slopes made slippery with dried leaf matter, the prospect of even steeper slopes was only tempered by the knowledge that this time we believed we knew what we were doing. While the path was steep it was easier to climb and base camp was quickly set up in an area used by Earthwatch researchers conducting 24-hour soil respiration studies. It was a small flat area and we soon all keenly set about our work. New teams were created and it did not take long for the competitive streak to kick-in among some of us. It might be surprising for some to learn that it was not the sporty or macho-men competing, but a couple of the women who bantered back and forth over who was fastest, who had more to do, who had the harder job, etc. The mission to size and classify the plantation pine was completed by all three teams in record time - so quickly in fact that we trekked back down to the pick-up point for an early lunch.
For being so quick in the morning, our afternoon reward was to complete data entry work, which involved transposing field data into spreadsheets (I guess every great discovery had its tedious tasks). We then split into our English and Chinese speaking teams for course-work learning. Today’s lessons explored our understanding of Alcoa’s Corporate Sustainability using a S.W.O.T approach. The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats were discussed and reviewed with the view that this may be a source of ideas for our individual post-expedition action plans. We closed the session with our 5-minute personal pre-work presentations. (I must remember to use pictures in the background of Power Point slides from now on, because those that did use them looked great! Thanks, Freyja!)
The day ended nicely with a combined HSBC and Alcoa team dinner. We were able to chat with other corporate sustainability fellows. So it’s good night from the team--Katherine, Freyja, Manon and Peter.