Once upon a time in China...our last day in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve.
Walking to breakfast in the morning, we realized that we couldn’t go to the field again. We wanted to go back to continue our field learning because the weather had only allowed us to go into the field twice.
In the afternoon, we had our last learning session with Nichole and Anna Li and we had to prepare a project draft of what we want to share with our communities when we return home. Dr. Liu also did a review of the main things that we have learned during the week: What are the patterns or structures of different forests?; how big is the carbon storage for different forests and different parts of the forest?; how much and how quickly do the carbon inputs and outputs differ between different forests and different parts of one forest?
Before dinner a group of three active and energetic Fellows decided to use the limited time left in this beautiful country to explore all they could - this resulted in a steep ascent of 1252 steps to a lookout 300m higher than the hotel - almost 1000m above sea level!
In the closing session, Dr. Pei surprised us with a thoughtful collection of pictures taken over the course of the week which he collated into a movie with emotive Chinese music playing in the background.
Then we had our last dinner all together with all the Earthwatch team: the Fellows, teachers and scientists. Some of us were even brave enough to try a little Chinese “firewater”! Everybody was happy to be with each other and to share all the good memories of this amazing week which no one will forget. This has really been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and through our numerous toasts we all managed to say sincere thank yous and goodbyes!
Personally, the main reason I applied for Earthwatch is because I wanted to do more and learn more about sustainability and, after my week spent in China, I really feel more engaged and aware of climate change and all the steps and the hard work the scientists have to do to achieve results! If we act we will all make a difference!
Blogger: Manon Tisseur