I am really bad at writing these blogs. I never know what is relevant or what people want to read or what people might think is a bad idea to write, or what I say is stupid. I will try to stop caring so much though and write more but it is very hard for me; I am generally shy and do not like to share my thoughts publicly much.
I will say that so far the Chinese language classes are very rough for me to follow at times. Maybe I am just bad at languages? I like knowing what each individual word means and the teacher teaches phrases/sentences instead of words so I am really struggling. For instance when I was learning a new language in an American high school, one of the very first concepts that I can remember being taught were the “5 question words”…. I still don’t quite understand how to phrase a question appropriately in Chinese.
In other news though, we have had some lectures on interesting topics! My favorite so far has been one on China’s efforts in renewable energy. They seem to very much prefer hydroelectric to other forms of renewables like solar, wind, or nuclear. I find this interesting in that by comparison to other forms hydroelectric seems to have some of the largest land impacts/negative ecological impacts. We have also had a lecture on coal, which was interesting in its own way… Suffice it to say the vibe I got from that lecture was that while China indeed invests in renewables, they still seem to prefer coal as the main energy source. I could very well be wrong though with language barriers and all!
So far we have had two rather disappointing visits. One to a natural gas plant, and the other to a hydroelectric dam. Neither were functioning at the time… In fact both facilities were “back ups” which run when current energy production is not meeting the grid’s needs. This only reaffirms my belief that China is still dead set on using coal as their main energy source for the time being. At the dam we didn’t even get to see the reservoir because the elevators were broken! That’s ok though because it is just happenstance, but still disappointing; two large cities are underwater up there and I wanted to see it!
I hope I am writing the things that people care about/want to read! So far a few people on this trip have gotten injured/sick, so wish them well and hope that the rest of us stay (relatively) healthy!