Today was very very good or as our tour guide, Mihelle would say, "Ding Ding How." Our day started off with a visit to the hospital. No need to worry though, no one was injured. We toured Beijing’s world renowned Femur-Head Hospital. This hospital specializes in treatments surrounding non-surgical avascular necrosis, a disease that most commonly affects the joints, those surrounding the hip, specifically the femoral head. It was founded by Haung Kequin who welcomed us when we arrived. After being a surgeon for several years, Haung Kequin founded the Femur- Head Hospital to treat avascular necrosis through natural remedies over 20 years ago. He has invented a total of 42 external fixator’s for 8 types of bone fractures as well as winning 6 provincial scientific and technical awards, 14 national patents and invention gold medals from over eight different countries. We were welcomed by staff and toured different areas in the hospital. We saw the pharmacy which was filled with traditional Chinese Herbs, along with treatment rooms and patients, and areas for soaking the afflicted areas through treatment baths. We gathered in the conference room and listened to Haung talk to us about his life experiences and research. Each student was presented with a first English edition of his textbook, along with a bag and fan. We had the distinct honor of having Haung sign each of our textbooks, along with his daughter who serves as the President at the Hospital.
After leaving the hospital, we headed to one of the 7 wonders of the world, The Great Wall of China. The Great wall stretches over 5,500 miles spanning across the northern border of China. It was built to protect China from the Mongolian invaders. We climbed the section known as Juyong Pass with temperatures reaching over 90 degrees. The saying, "He who does not reach The Great Wall is not a true hero." held true. Although it was a very difficult time, with our legs feeling like Jell-O, everyone pushed up to the top. We all agreed the view was worth it. Throughout the climb, we visited with people from all over the world including people from Australia, Germany, China, Belgium, and even the good old USA. There is no one same step on the Great Wall, this meaning, some steps were a big stretch for our legs while others you barely had to lift your big toe for which made it quite the work out. We built up quite the appetite and everyone developed quite the "runners high." On our way to the next stop everyone was very happy and full of emotions, Andrea even teared up a little. It was a memorable experience that no one will ever forget.
After the great climb, the air conditioning felt wonderful at the Jade Factory. The Jade stone is a very popular stone in China and is known for its beauty and health benefits. As we toured the facility, we watched as a craftsman worked his magic on raw stone. The group learned that there are many other colors of Jade rather than just green. Other colors include yellow, purple, red, orange, black, and grey. However, in Beijing the local color of Jade is white and throughout China the color varies depending on the Province. In China to become a master Jade cutter, you must learn it from you father or grandfather who is already in the business. If an outsider wishes to become a jade cutter he must marry the daughter of one of these men. We were led into a beautiful showroom, where we saw all of the elegant pieces of artwork made from jade. They showed us the secrets on how to decipher real jade from fake. Real jade will be cool to the touch which is one of the health benefits. The pricing for jade is based on the stones hardness. Stronger pieces will be used for jewelry, while more fragile pieces will be used for small ornamental carvings. Certain jade and color is very expensive and we saw pieces or artwork ranging from $39 dollars to over $50,000.00 dollars. After viewing the showcase room, we moved upstairs and enjoyed a wonderful buffet.
After lunch, we drove to the China Ag University where we were all partnered up with a student from CAU. We then toured parts of the campus and were welcomed into a lecture hall where we learned about the University and some of the current student’s research projects. Many of the students were going for their Masters or Doctorate, in Animal Science specifically the pork industry. The CAU showed us around the Feed Museum which was located right on campus. This museum was one-of-a-kind, it is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the history of feeds. We then gathered in the cafeteria hall and mingled with the students while enjoying supper. Many of us exchanged emails with the students from CAU, and we hope to continue our friendships and connections overseas.
Finally, we boarded the bus and had a jam session with some good old country music. We made our way to the last stop of the day, The Olympic Park here is Beijing. This was home to the 2008 summer Olympics. Since it was dark out, we were able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the famous Birds-Nest Stadium, the Water Cube as well as surrounding buildings, landscape, and city lights. Normally, the facilities are lit with only one color, typically blue or green, but because of the "One Road, One Belt" conference which was hosted in Beijing today, the park was lit up with a plethora of colors and designs, symbolizing the different countries and cultures coming together in Beijing.
One the bus ride back to the Hotel, our tour guide Michelle taught us various phrases in Chinese, including how to count up to 20. We are looking forward to mastering this skill. After getting back late from this fun-filled day that none of us will ever forget, it is no surprise that we will all sleep well.
Best Wishes From Beijing! - Katie and Madelyn
China Ag University
Foot soak area at hospital