The Great (Fire) Wall

Apologies to our esteemed readers.  China has thrown a few wrenches into our plans.  I was all set to post earlier last week when we landed in Beijing, and discovered that I couldn’t access our blog – Adam was apparently successful, but only after waiting a long time.  Now, it seems like we’ve got access to WordPress again, so it seems we owe you some blogging.

Beijing has been amazing.  It has finally given students studying Chinese a chance to put our language skills to the test. Although we still struggle, most report having some successful conversations with taxi drivers and shopkeepers.  We’ve had two lectures while we’ve been here.  Vestas was first.  If you are unfamiliar, Vestas is the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world (HQed in Denmark) and has a significant presence in China.  Their story here is rather unique because the Chinese government has set very high goals for wind energy and Vestas, being an industry leader is right at the forefront of the Chinese market.  But beyond that, it was fascinating to hear how the government also wants to grow a domestic industry, while relying in multi-national companies to be the seed.

Mercy Corps also came to talk to us.  If you are from Portland, you know all about Mercy Corps, or maybe you’ve heard about them in the wake of the Haiti Earthquake.  They are an international relief and development organization working in over 40 countries.  In China, one of their projects is to provide vocational training and education to a ethnic minority group in Sichuan province.

We’re also doing a fair amount of sightseeing – including the Great Wall!  I’m sure we’ll share some more pictures and stories once we get back to the States.  Using the Internet in China has proven to be quite a challenge!

-Austin

长城

尊敬的读者,很抱歉我们未能及时更新博客。中国给我们开个小小的玩笑,打乱了我们的博客计划。我们本打算上周一到达中国就更新我们的博客,但是却发现无法登陆我们的网站。经过不懈地坚持和一段不短时间的等待之后,Adam终于成功登陆。现在我们又回来了!

到达北京后,我们这些学习中文的同学终于有了机会展示自己的汉语水平。虽然我们说得还不是流利,但大部分同学都成功地与出租车司机和商场导购进行了交谈。我们已经结束了有关两家公司的讲座。第一堂讲座是关于维斯塔斯中国(Vestas)。维斯塔斯是全球最大的风机制造商,总部在丹麦,在中国有着举重轻重的影响。维斯塔斯的成功故事很独特。中国政府设定了很高的风能利用目标,作为该领域的领先者,维斯塔斯成为了进军中国市场的先锋。此外,中国政府致力于发展其国内的风能行业,寄希望于跨国公司播下这一新兴能源行业的种子。

第二堂讲座来自于国际美慈组织(Mercy Corps)。如果你来自美国波特兰,美慈对你自然不会陌生,或者你可能在海地地震后听过很多报道提及该公司。美慈是一家国际性的救援和发展组织,为全球40多个国家提供服务。美慈在中国的项目之一是为四川的一个少数民族提供职业培训和教育。

除此之外,我们还参观了北京的名胜古迹,其中包括长城。回到美国后我们将会和大家分享拍下的照片以及我们沿途的所见所闻。在中国使用因特网还真是个挑战!

– 翻译:蔡敏

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Filed under Asia Trip, Austin's Entries, Language Study

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