Today, we woke up thankful! During the night Hangzhou experienced a short period of rain which allowed the temperature to cool off somewhat, but we still were experiencing a very dry heat. Our lecture for the day would be bittersweet, as this was the last classroom session we would have while in China. All of our classroom sessions have expanded our knowledge, allowing us to view the world from a different paradigm. The final lecture – China’s Clean Energy Status, Challenges and Future Projections – was given by Dr. ZHOU Zhangui, director of the International Institute for Water Security and deputy director of the Environment and Energy Security Institute at Zhejiang University. In this session we discussed all of the various forms of energy in existence and why China is choosing to lead the world in clean energy initiatives. Due to China’s 1.3 billion and growing population, its need for energy consumption, and concerns regarding water pollution and availability, new sources of energy had to be explored. Additionally, we learned about the seven joint U.S.-China clean energy initiatives that were implemented in 2009 by President Barack Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao, and later renewed by China’s current president.
After the session, we boarded our bus and headed to the Hangzhou Cuisine Museum. The museum, which featured examples of more than 400 mouthwatering dishes, specialized in the culture of Hangzhou cuisine, giving visitors an opportunity to learn the city’s food history and cooking techniques. An hour at the museum had done the trick, as we were hungry and desperate for something to eat. The next stop was the museum restaurant where we received an authentic Hangzhou dinner featuring some of the traditional dishes we’d just seen on display.
Afterward, we made our way to the Xixi National wetlands Park also known as the “wetland paradise.” Xixi, which literally means “west waterway,” is a lush wetland covering 10 square kilometers, with three square kilometers of the area serving as a public park, where visitors can learn about the daily lives and ancient culture of fisherman and farmers.
To end the day, we had our own Chinese culinary art workshop. It was an amazing experience as we tried our hand at making China’s vegetable and pork dumplings. After we prepared and cooked our dumplings dish, it was served alongside other buffet style items. Following our delicious cuisine, we joined in one final bonding exercise as the members of our HBCU cohort participated in a rousing and fun game of “Hide and Go Seek.”