First full day in Chongqing! August 3rd ／来自中国重庆的问候！
Greetings from China!
This is the first blog post from the Canadian-Chinese Biology Field Course that is happening from August 1st to August 21st (for Canadian students) and until August 29th for Chinese students. Students on the course will be updating this blog daily – we are Team Eel and we’re happy to be the first group to begin the blog!
We’ll start off by writing about how we all arrived here in China. The Canadian students met at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario at 10am (except two students from Vancouver) and proceeded to get acquainted, check-in and eventually board the plane for a 14-hour flight to Pudong Airport in Shanghai. Here we met up with the Canadian students from Vancouver and the Chinese students from Fudan University. In total there are 11 Canadian students from many universities across Canada such as Queen’s University, Trent University, University of Western Ontario, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Ontario and University of Waterloo. There are 7 students from Fudan University as well as 6 students from Southwest University and 1 student from Northwest University.
Once we had all exchanged names we checked-in our luggage and ate at a Chinese restaurant in the airport, where the Chinese students had fun translating the menu for the Canadians! After dinner we boarded a plane to Chongqing to meet up with the Southwest and Northwest students. Once we arrived at the Jianbei Airport we hoped on a bus and headed to Southwest University, where we are currently staying. The rooms are very nice, with TVs, air-conditioning and hot showers. We were all pretty tired from the flight and fell asleep right away.
The next day we all met up for breakfast at 8am on campus, which was served as a number of dishes that we all shared at each table. It tasted great! After breakfast, we went to a nice air-conditioned lecture hall, where Drs. Wang, Lougheed and Jin and TA Mingzhi Qu gave introductions of themselves and the course. We then split into 7 groups of 3-4 students, one student from each university, and exchanged introductions and gifts. After the lecture we had lunch, which consisted of many dishes and a lot of food!
Following lunch we boarded a bus to downtown Chongqing, specifically to a fish market. Here we identified various species of local fish as well as fish from other cities, such as Guangzhou and Fujian. Once we identified the fish we broke off into our separate groups to complete a Scavenger Hunt, where we had to find locations and record their GPS coordinates as well as take a photo of each one. The instructions were written in Mandarin, so the Chinese students had to explain the locations to the Canadian students within their groups.
Each group visited 4 locations and ended up all together at 6pm in a Chinese restaurant overlooking the Yangtze River. We (team Eel) visited the Yangtze River Cableway Station, the Arhat Temple, Chaotianmen Plaza and the Chongqing shopping mall. It was fun, but also extremely hot and humid! We stopped twice for ice cream and to stand near a fan in a ticket station for boats. Interestingly the Canadian student in our group (Robyn) was stopped twice and asked to be photographed with locals and was also given a lovely flower bracelet from a local boy in the fish market!
After the Scavenger Hunt we ate dinner at Taoranju, where many students (and profs) ordered ice cold beers for some much-needed refreshment. The food was quite spicy, but luckily they also served yogurt-milk which helped many of the students! All students enjoyed discussing what they had seen throughout the day, including the most interesting and funny parts for each group. We also walked out to the restaurant balcony and watched the sunrise over Chongqing and took many photos of the city and the river, which we will post.
Once we finished dinner we boarded the bus back to Southwest University where Dr. Wang and Dr. Lougheed gave a brief overview of the next day’s plan. The Southwest University students headed back to their own rooms and the rest of the students retreated to their beds, exhausted after a long, exciting day!
That’s all from us,
Hope you enjoyed our blog!
Robyn Laing, Shengrui Feng, Xiaxia Yi and Yiyao Hu