Monday, May 23, 2016

May 22, Sunday

 Bell tower
 Final leg
 Hackey sack
Rolex still working

May 22, Sunday

               We boarded the bus at 9:00 am from the hotel for our final day in China. We traveled for 15 minutes to the old city center of Hutong. Located in the Hutong center were two towers. The bell tower to the north and the drum tower to the south. In ancient times the bell tower would ring the 63 ton bell each morning. The bell was heard throughout the entire city. Each evening the drums were played in the drum tower to call people back into the city. We were able to climb to the top of the drum tower for a performance. To the top of the tower was 69 steep steps. We dreaded each step as our bodies where very sore from climbing the Great Wall. After the show we took a rickshaw ride through the village. A rickshaw is a small cart for two people pulled behind a bicycle. To conclude our morning we ate lunch at a local family’s house. They family cooked a traditional Beijing meal. This meal consisted of rice, green beans, stewed beef, potatoes, and our favorite - carrot balls. The food was delicious! In this house lived three generations. In our spare time we were able to play hacky sack with the locals. They were much more skilled than we were but they were happy to play with us. We then boarded the bus and headed to the airport for our 13 hour flight!

               Overall we have had a wonderful experience in China. We have learned a lot and gained new friends and experiences that we will take into our future. One thing that we found interesting throughout the entire trip is the fact that each company we toured is new. All production farms we visited were built within recent years. This shows how fast and quickly China is growing and adapting to the growing populations. As young students in Agriculture we are blessed to be a part of this important time in history.  

Kyle and Whitney

P.S. See you soon family and friends!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 21, Saturday

 We are The CHAMPIONS!
 Patient and gift
 All Blue and Gold
 Bird Nest
 CAU supper
 Femur Head Hospital
Great Wall

May 21, Saturday

               Our morning call wasn't as early as the days before, which was a good thing. We joined up with 24 students and 4 faculty from Iowa State University today so that was a lot of fun. Our itinerary today is jammed pack with tours of the Beijing Emperor Special Hospital of Femur Head Necrosis, the Great Wall, Olympic Stadium- Bird's Nest, and China Agricultural University. Today is our last full day and we plan to make the most of it! 

               Our first stop was at the Beijing Emperor Special Hospital of Femur Head Necrosis. Through connections with their patient Ty Eschenbaum, South Dakota native, we were treated like royalty and were able to learn more about their impressive healing treatment on femur head narcosis that uses traditional Chinese medicine.   

               Femur head narcosis is the deterioration of the femur head which is located at your hip. The femur head is responsible for the majority of leg movement. The most common type of treatment for this disease in America is hip replacement.  

               There are four types of treatments used at the hospital based off of an herbal supplement mixture and acupuncture. The doctor determines this mixture based on the patient's condition and rely greatly on the use of x-ray to compare progress as all treatment is done on the outside of the body. The founder of the hospital, Dr. Huang developed this specific treatment and the type of x-ray that produces better pixelated images and colored images that can show bone growth better than x-rays used in the United States.  

               The hospital has treated over 20,000 patients from over 41 countries since 1993. Besides femur heads, they can also treat ankle and shoulder joints. The efficiency rate for this treatment is 97% and they have even had artificial joint companies come visit them, because their treatment practice is decreasing the need for artificial joints.  

               Next we took an hour drive to the Great Wall. On our way to the Great Wall, we got a briefing on the history behind it.  The oldest part of the wall is 2,700 years old, which made the first construction start in the 7th century B.C.  All the different sections of the wall combine to make almost 13,000 miles long.  With Mother Nature and time taking a toll on the Great Wall, only about a third of the original wall is easily visible now.  The contrition of wall was built by many different dynasties throughout its history.  The section that we saw and hiked up was rebuilt by the Ming dynasty.   

               The construction of the Great Wall was done by three different groups of people.  This consisted of soldiers, laborers, and prisoners.  Laborers were mostly peasants that were forced to work.  Prisoners that worked on the Great Wall worked in 4 year periods.  The work was hard and the conditions were not any better.  It is estimated that throughout the history of the Great Wall, roughly 700,000 people died while working on it. 

               When we arrived at the Great Wall, we had two choices.  We could either go up the steeper and more strenuous route, or we could go up the easier route.  Most of the group between us and the Iowa State students decided to be adventurous and try out the more difficult route.  Both groups headed out on their respective stairways and quickly realized that the engineers of over a thousand years ago were not exactly the same as they are today.  The steps were very uneven with some being only 2 inches tall and the next one being 18 inches. 

               The harder stairway proved to be more difficult than anyone in the group had predicted.  After the first 100 foot climb, our groups quickly realized how difficult the climb was going to be and how out of shape all of us felt.  We had to stop several times for "photo breaks" so we could all catch our breath before reaching the top.  After several photos and some pretty sweet/sketchy climbing by Andy Rausch, we realized that almost everyone from SDSU had made it to the top while only 1 Iowa State student made it.  GO JACKS!!   

               The trek back down was still very steep and definitely made a few people feel uneasy, but everyone made it down mostly alive and in one piece.  We rewarded ourselves with some cold water from the market and proceeded to buy some pretty cool souvenirs before we left. 

               Next we went to a cloisonné pottery shop and got a brief 20 minute tour of all of the 6 steps in making these beautiful vases. We then continued to a great lunch with the Iowa State students.  

               Following lunch we took an hour drive to China Agriculture University where we met with students that picked us out of the crowd by our "American" names they were give. We got to know one another and then sat down for a briefing by Dr. Li who went to K-State with our very own Dr. Thaler. He built the Animal Science Department from the ground up and now they have a 600 sow farrow to finish research facility, and better research facilities than just about any Animal Science Department in the US. We then got a tour of the campus by our Chinese friends and had the opportunity to learn of bit more about them as an individual and about the campus. We continued to have a fun filled supper full of amazing food and toasts. We had a wonderful time hearing about project these individuals we conducting and many of us got their contact information for the future. 

  On the way back to the hotel we got to stop by the Olympic park for a short 20 minutes to see the amazing structures that were built for the 2008 Olympics. Although we are extremely tired and are ready to come home, we intend to have an extremely fun night, exploring the night life of Beijing. It has truly been a once in a lifetime experience but we can't wait to see our loved ones once again. Hope you have all have enjoyed our updates as much as we have and we will see you soon!!  



 Kiera, Darrin, Tony

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20, Friday

 Hand welding
 JD in China
 JD sign
 JD women
 Product testing

May 20, Friday

We started off the day bright and early at 7 in the morning by taking a 4 hour bus ride to Tian Jin.  The bus was really quiet this morning as most of us were taking a nap.  After we arrived at Tian Jin, we stopped at a John Deere engine factory.  The factory currently has 157 employees working there. The Tian Jin factory currently has the capacity to produce 50,000 engines annually but is only producing 10,000 annually due to demand and emissions regulations. The factory is broken up into seven different sections.  The first section is the materials warehouse.  This is where all the engine parts are stored before the engine assembly.  The next section is material staging.  This is where all the parts a gathered before they are assembled.  After material staging is the assembly section.  This section is in charge of assembling the engines.  The next section in the factory is testing cells.  Here the engines are tested to make sure they are functioning properly.  After the test cells section, the engines go to the paint and final trim section.  This is where the engines are painted.  After painting they go to the shipping section to be shipped off.  The last section of the factory is the axel section.  Here they assemble axels.  The factory currently produce 40 engines and 2 axels each day.  It was interesting to see how John Deere incorporates AGV's (automated guidance vehicles) to move the engines throughout the factory as they are being built.   

Our next stop in Tian Jin was at the Artex Barn Solutions factory.  The factory can process 20,000 tons of steel materials annually. Fifty parent of Artex finished products get exported to countries around the world.  The other 50 percent is sold within China. Three hundred containers of finished product are sold to over 40 countries throughout the world.  Some of the products Artex produces are free stall gates, head gates, calf zones, and barn fans.  This past year Artex has started to incorporate robotic welders into their manufacturing process.  These robotic welders help to save labor costs and to improve the consistency of each weld.  The factory that we visited did not do any of the galvanization process in-house.  This is due to the difficulties of getting permits to perform the galvanization process.  It was very interesting to see how they transform raw materials into the finished products.   

This evening we met with a group of ag students from Iowa State University for supper. We split off into groups of about half and half SDSU and Iowa State students and talked about what they had seen so far on their China trip. We were all able to try some Chinese hard alcohol called Baijo while we had dinner. This concluded our twelfth day in China.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, Thursday

 Five motorcycles
 Inner temple
 Jacks Forbidden
 Sampling tea
Temple of Heaven