At the end of May, Seed Aquaponics was asked to lead two college students through China, do five outdoor aquaponic site visits, and build an indoor aquaponic system.
It was a pleasure to get to know Cara, a junior from Grove City College, and Maggy, a senior from Geneva College, during our travels together. We spent our first couple days in Beijing visiting the Summer Palace and The Great Wall. My old family friend, David, had us come to his university class to be representatives of the U.S. speaking English for his English course. We finished up our four days in Beijing by celebrating Cara’s birthday at a traditional hotpot restaurant. The waiters sang “Happy Birthday” in Mandarin and, in general, put on a show including noodles stretched lasso style around the server’s head and body.
Next, I traveled with new friends throughout the mountainsides of Yunnan Province. This is one of my favorite places in China. The views are always breathtaking! The local villagers are considering building aquaponic systems to supplement their diets with organic produce from the fish and vegetables. I evaluated the water sources, land availability and management ability of each location and found them quite conducive to building large, outside systems. One place already had a 6000 gallon fish tank and we began the conversation about the growth of that aquaculture system into an aquaponic system.
Finally, I took the train to Guiyang, my first home in China 12 years ago. I got to spend some quality time with old friends picking out the perfect tea at the local tea house and having another birthday celebration. I was also able to build an indoor aquaponic system for my friend’s terrarium business. And to wrap-up the trip, we went to the monkey park with another friend who grew up there.
I will try to keep updating this blog to show you how my “Guanxi” (relationships) with all of my friends grow over time. Maybe you’ll be the next person to join in on the experience!