The river leading up to the Jiande dam was a beautiful, almost mystical looking setting. Fog compactly settled atop the river but moved as if it had a current. It looked as if the river was just pure water vapor. And there were also the stupendous green mountains that sandwiched each side of the meandering waters. Some trees along the mountain slopes had leaves as large as my entire body. I was in awe of the greenery and misty mountains.

It was inspiring to visit the Jiande dam. The 100-meter-tall concrete structure provides clean energy for thousands of people. The reservoir also provides millions of people with clean drinking water – bottled of course. A plastic bottling plant is located nearby. This dam has embanked a total 22 billion cubic meters of water. The dam embanked so much water that the mountains behind the reservoir became islands! What a feat for human engineering. Human persistence is the most powerful force on earth. Albert Einstein once said persistence can move mountains, I say it can transform mountains into islands.

I was so animated to witness these submerged mountain islands. I’ve waited days for this moment. The bus stops, we unload, and I’m giddy with excitement. We’re walking towards the dam. I think I might have been skipping, I was definitely skipping with joy. Bad news erupts. The elevators to the top of the dam broke! Dammit. The damn dam broke. I never got to see those thousand islands as advertised by our tour guide, but at least I got a cool postcard showcasing what I missed out on.

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