Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Working On The Paper

Day 51

Monday August 8, 2011

This week, Lìjié and I will be analyzing the results together and compiling all of the data for our research papers.

But do you know the most difficult thing about writing a paper on a topic you are so passionate about? It is finding the words to express all the information and knowledge that you want to convey without being too overwhelming for the reader. Wish me luck!


Climbing 999 steps. Hanging in the clouds. Heading to heaven.

Day 50

Sunday August 7, 2011

All I can say is: simply incredible. We traveled 5000 feet in the air to the top of Tianmen Mountain. The mountain is named after a huge opening in the mountain near the peak that looks like a gate to heaven, thus the name “Heavenly Gate Mountain” – Tianmen Mountain (see picture of the gate). It look us 4 buses, 3 aerial cableways, a two hour walk through the clouds, and 1 ski lift to get to the top, but it was amazing and well worth the travel.

I must say that there is something so magical about mountains – the giants in the sky. The natural beauty of the mountain is something that can never be replicated. Mist and clouds surround the majestic mountain, as if for protection. We made our way along the path, but we could barely see the path since the clouds surrounded us the entire time. However, once all the buses, aerial cableways, paths, and the ski lift were taken, there was just one leg of the journey left and just one thing in our way – 999 steps to the top. It was difficult to climb those steps especially since it was raining, making it more slippery. Arriving at the top, however, was indescribable. This time, unfortunately, pictures do not do the mountain justice. It is one of those times where you have to be there in order to truly appreciate the beauty and magnificence of such a place. I truly was in heaven.

Heading to Zhangjiajie, Going into the Cave, and Watching A Show in the Mountains

Day 49

Saturday August 6, 2011

For my last trip exploring China, we traveled to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, which is located 5 hours away, so we took a tour bus.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Allison Zhao, a 2009 Borlaug-Ruan Intern, and I learned that her family is from a city near Changsha, so she is familiar with the area. She said that if I get to travel anywhere in Hunan province, I must see Zhangjiajie. She said it is the most beautiful place in all of Hunan province. So, I am extremely glad that we are in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

We will spend two days here, since there is so much to see. In fact, we won’t even get to see the entire park in the two days; apparently, it takes 4-5 days to see the whole park. Tomorrow, we will see one of the main attractions of the park – Tianmen Mountain. Today, we explored one of the largest caves I have ever seen, and traveled to small sanctuary within the mountains and watched a traditional Chinese play. Again, I believe that pictures can speak louder than words at times, so I will let my pictures tell the story this time.


Day 48

Friday August 5, 2011

All the data has been collected, and all of the experiments are completed. It is bittersweet moment. I am glad that we completed the experiment so we can analyze the results, but I am sad because it is just another reminder that my time here is ending. 😦 

Interviews: A Global Perspective

Day 47

Thursday August 4, 2011

I started conducting the interviews with the agronomists from the five different countries represented here: Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, East Timor, and Guinea-Bissau. It is incredible to get so many different perspectives from all around the world. One quote from an agronomist from Mozambique made me realize how important hybrid rice is, “Hybrid rice changes lives – that is why we cultivate and learn about it.”


Day 46

Wednesday August 3, 2011

I continued conducting the procedures in the lab, which is located across the campus. This lab unfortunately doesn’t have air conditioning, unlike the lab where we conducted the genetic analysis. I felt as if I was in a sauna – the lab was 104°F. I think the lab was hotter than outside. One of the researchers who also works there brought in a fan to cool the room down. She also told me that air conditioning is being installed in the lab this Friday – when I have already completed all my work. What great timing…


Oh well, it is alright; As Fěi’tíng said, “It is my destiny to work in a 104°F room.”


Day 45

Tuesday August 2, 2011

Just continuing my experiments, working hard, and learning lots!