Home, rested and more pictures

Dear Friends and Followers,
We thank you for following our PIE (Paper International Experience) Blog. We are all home and hopefully well rested by now! The trip was a huge success! Uploading pictures to our blog while in China was very challenging. We have now uploaded a sampling of the thousands (literally) of photos taken from our group (see photo gallery above).

ENJOY! and Sheh Sheh (THANK YOU!)

Tiananmen Square

At Airport

While killing time on the bus and to the airport, we came up with a few “lists” to summarize our experiences here . . . . .

Things we miss about America
Food (Bojangles and Pizza)
A/C in hotels
Clean Air
Cell phone / wireless
Soft Beds
No internet restrictions, especially Social Media sites
Traffic Laws
Manners and Etiquette
a FULL sanitary bathroom, which includes a western toilet, toilet paper, soap and paper towels
DRINKS – Drinkable / free water, more than ONE drink per meal and COLD drinks!!
English
Meat that doesn’t all taste the same

Things we learned about China
They will bargain and we love it!
They LOVE to take photos of us and with us
There are alot of Gardens
Bing Pijoe is cheap!
They are CRAZY drivers!
Paper Engineers make no money
Cost of living is SKY HIGH
They love the NBA
It’s Crowded
Our hosts were amazingly generous
Dr. Chang has an amazing reputation and millions of contacts!
The paper industry and schools here HIGHLY regard NC State!
Chicken nugget meal at McDonald’s is only a 5 piece
There is no such thing as a “not spicy” chicken sandwich
You can get corn at McDonald’s

Things we will miss about China
Inexpensive Massages (AKA beatings)
Inexpensive shopping and BARGAINING!
KTV
Bing Pijoe
Being treated like royalty
Currency exchange . . . its can make you feel like a millionaire
Each other!
Scenery – its beautiful here1
Aaron
Downtown Beijing
The nightlife
Dragons
Cheap knock off products

GREAT WALL PICTURE

Great Wall Pictures from Yesterday!
Boy was it fun! I wonder how many people are sore today?

We are packing up and heading out for a day of shopping and lunch and then to the airport. Thanks to Ashley and Michelle for being so diligent in posting as much as we could. There WILL be more pictures to come, but as it is, we have been having to upload 1 picture overnight! We’ll post more and more to our Picasa Gallery.

For you parents out there, they have had fun!!!!! I think we are all ready to get home, but it has been a great experience. We did a department / foundation exercise a while back and were asked to boil what we like about our department / major down to one word . . . mine was PEOPLE, and that included the the students. These students are no different! I have enjoyed the time to get to know them better and experience this trip with them. They are fun, funny, intelligent, engaged and just wonderful young professionals!

We’ll post more later and I hope this picture goes through!

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Great Wall, Duck, and Acrobats!!

We climbed a part of the Great Wall. We climbed from a tourist entrance to a stopping point. The stopping point was the end of a restored area. Everyone was able to complete the climb! We had lunch in the restaurant at the Cloisonné Factory where they use copper to make assorted vases and ornaments and knick knacks. After lunch, we visited a Ming Tomb. It was the underground palace. We ate dinner at Peking Duck then saw acrobats perform at a theater. Peking Duck is cooked for 24 hours and served similar to a burrito. The acrobats were really fun and talented. It was very similar to something you might see at the circus.

Tomorrow we return! We are sad to leave but are looking forward to returning at the same time.

 

 

Thursday May 23rd in Beijing
Guest Blogger Ashley Massey

Today we started off early and headed to the Summer Palace of the Ming Dynasty. It was beautiful and reminded us very much of a Chinese garden. One of the key attractions of the Summer palace was the Suzhou street bridge which is in the Guiness book of world records. The bridge is 1 kilometer long and every 6in, respectfully there is a different small character of art. Next, we went to the Forbidden City. It was the palace for the Ming dynasty and contained roughly 8,000 rooms and was…HUGE considering only one family had an entire palace city to themselves. We also visited the Temple of Heaven which was also under the Ming Dynasty. We ended the day with one of our favorite pastimes: shopping!

Friday we head to the Great Wall!

APRIL Pulp and Paper

Tuesday May 21
Guest Blogger Ashley Massey

Today we visited and were warmly welcomed by Asia Symbol (formally April Pulp and Paper). The mill is the largest pulp mill in the world…. And it was HUGE! They made market pulp and board. They also housed the world’s largest digester. It took about five hours to drive to the mill by bus from the hotel so much of the day was spent on the road. They also fed us well for lunch and dinner. Some of us even had cow eyeballs for dinner!

It was a phenomenal experience and we were awed by the massiveness of the mill!

We did make it to Beijing by high speed train on Wednesday and visited the China Pulp and Paper Institute. We have guest bloggers to tell you about that later today and hopefully some pictures to post! Our hotel in Beijing is right next to the Olympic Stadium, and the area is very nice! Wireless is spotty at best and we will try to get more pictures to post!

Jinan-The Spring City and Shandong Polytechnic Institute

In the morning, we visited the Baotun Spring.  It was similar to the previous gardens we visited, very serene and beautiful.  Jinan is called the City of the Springs because water flows from the mountains in the south down to the Ming Lake. 

In the afternoon, we had lunch at the Institute’s cafeteria.  Then we were greeted with an extremely warm welcome in the new library’s lecture hall.  We had the opportunity to meet and greet with the students giving them an opportunity to better their English and us a chance to learn some Chinese.  The students and faculty were very excited to see us and talk with us.  We toured the paper labs in the Institute, then went to play basketball and interact more with the students.  Later, we had dinner hosted by the Institute and the graduate students were able to join us.

 

Trains, Buses and Wheat Straw OH MY!

Guest Blogger Michelle Blood

On Sunday, May 19, we got up early to ride a high speed train from Nanjing to Jinan.  The train ran up to 305 km/h.  Once in Jinan we were bussed 1.5 hours from the train station to Tralin Paper Company where we saw a wheat straw mill.  It is the largest wheat straw mill in the world.  It produces 800,000 tons a year of straw pulp.  As a byproduct (although it’s their biggest money maker) the mill produces fertilizer from condensed black liquor.  Their main paper products include tissue, board like paper similar to a Chinet plates and copy paper.  Most of their tissue and paper are domestic to China, but 95% of the paper plates and containers are exported to America for use in fast food restaurants.  The mill has 11 paper machines and 20 tissue machines.  Lunch and dinner were hosted by the mill.  Interesting foods included mule (yes, Mule!) and dragonfruit.  Somehow, french fries made their way onto the table and we’ve never seen some people smile so much!.  It was a nice surprise. 

More to come later, and hopefully more pictures . . . once we get over our “no wireless” withdrawals!  We have been taking pictures with our phones and emailing them to be posted on the blog.  With no wireless, we can’t get them off our phone!  Ha ha!  And they say our age and too technology dependent!