plants of Guizhou, karst desertification, and reforestation

books about Guizhou plants -《黔东南常见森林植物图谱》 Common Forest Plants from Southeast Guizhou Province, 2013 ;贵州植被 Vegetation of Guizhou, 1988;石阡县森林植物种质资源 forest plants of Shiqian County, Guizhou

 Also see:  Guizhou Plateau broadleaf and mixed forests – Encyclopedia of Earth,
Vegetation in karst areas
The regional vegetation types in Guizhou karst plateau belong to subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest. Fagaceae, Theaceae and Lauraceae are the predominant vegetation. Besides, mountainous warm coniferous forest characterized by fir, Pinus massoniane, Pinus yunnanensis,conifer- broadleaf mixed forest predominated by pine, fir, polar and birch, deciduous broadleaf forest characterized by Liquidambar formosana, pollar, Batula lumilifera and the artificial and secondary bamboo forest are also widespread…However, except for Maolan Karst Forest Preserve in southeast Guizhou, the karst forests in Guizhou are mainly secondary forests, and the flora (fascicular) are simple.

Guizhou’s Ferns and Mosses 《贵州蕨类植物志》《贵州苔藓植物图志》

online photos of China’s plants  普蘭塔 from
Also,  Nature Education Literature  家长环境教育图书推荐目录 [supplied by Katie Scott of NatureWize, a Guiyang nature education organization,, ]

《森林里最后一个孩子: 拯救自然缺失症儿童》
作者:(美)理查德•洛夫,王西敏 (合著者), 郝冰 (合著者), 自然之友 (译者)
出版社:湖南科学技术出版社; 第1版
出版年: 2010-4
Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
—Richard Louv

作者: (美)约瑟夫・克奈尔
译者: 叶凡
出版社: 天津教育出版社
出版年: 2000-6
Sharing Nature with Children:
——Joseph Bharat Cornell

作者: [英]约翰•马敬能 / 卡伦•菲利普斯
出版社: 湖南教育出版社
译者: 卢和芬/ 何芬奇/解焱
出版年: 2000年6月第一版
A Field Guide to the Birds of China
—-John Ramsay MacKinnon

作者: (英)库姆斯
出版社: 中国友谊出版公司
译者: 猫头鹰出版社
出版年: 2005
Tree identification through colorful pictures of more than 500 species in the world

作者: 李元胜
出版社: 上海社会科学院出版
出版年: 2004-5
The insects in China, II
—Yuansheng Li

作者: 刘全儒/ 王辰
出版社: 重庆大学
出版年: 2007-3
The handbook of common plants identification
—Quanru Liu/Chen Wang

作者: 张巍巍
出版社: 重庆大学
出版年: 2007-3.

list from, uploaded at

Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve is a treasure-house of plants and wildlife. The reserve is rich in plant resources and 80% of the conservation area is covered with virgin forest and other plants. There are about 795 families of plants and 1,955 species, including 14 families and 19 species of gymnosperms, 460 families and 1,155 species of spermatophytes and 123 families of fungi. Some plants are rare, such as the dove flowers which grow only in this region. Due to the influence of the sub-tropical alpine monsoon climate, the distribution of vegetation is vertically zonal. The plants vary from the evergreen broadleaf forest to deciduous trees.

The favorable climate and lush vegetation make the reserve an ideal habitat for wild fauna. The number of wild animal species identified and documented has reached over 800. The diversified fauna include 68 species of mammals, 191 species of birds, 41 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians, respectively accounting for 13.6%, 6.2%, 10.9% and 12.2% of the national total animal population. Among these species, some are rare and endangered. The Guizhou golden monkeys can be seen only in this region and are on the edge of extinction, hence a national treasure and protected species. Other species like clouded leopard, South China Tiger, pangolin and antelope are also important national protected animals.  (from )

Karst rocky desertification around Guizhou Province

Expanding karst rocky desertification is shrinking living space and becomes the root of disaster and poverty in southwest China; it is especially true for Guizhou Province, which lies in the center of karst areas in the southwest. Karst rocky desertification, drought and water deficiency are the main environmental problems in karst areas in southwestern China.  (from )
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In karst areas of Guizhou, the soils are discontinued, shallow and thin. The land surface and soils have poor capacity of storing water and usually are dry because of the quick and serious leakage of rain water. And the landforms are deep cut and steep. As a result, development of the regional forest is influenced, and a special karst forest vegetation is formed….Main causes of rock desertification:
Firstly, the pure limestone,well-developed joints and strong karstification result in little and thin soil and bare rocks:The Triassic limestone is very pure, with less than 1% unsoluble matters by acid, so the rock can not form abundant soils. Meanwhile, well-developed karst fissures and sinkholes are easy for serious loss and leakage of water and soil. These are the natural conditions of the rock desertification.
Secondly,a big population density of 135/km2 and lack of cultivated land result in the local farmers to cultivate mountain slopes and rock fissures in large area: The group has only 146 mu cultivated land, but 40% of them are in the rock fissures. Even a small patch of soil between rock or the rock fissure where can only plant one corn or potato is also fully used . The situation for long periods is inevitably leading to deterioration of ecology and rock desertification .
Thirdly, the vegetation grows slowly and has low ecological efficiency under cold plateau climate and fragile karst environments: Though the farmers have coals for fuels and do not cut the trees for firewood, as well as plant some trees on the hills, the trees grows slowly, and the forestation effects are bad under bare karst environments and cold climate in high elevation area. The annual mean temperature is 12℃.And there are 125 days in frost periods each year.
The development of agriculture and improvement of ecological environments in Mishuga have been paid attention by local governments. An important way will possibly be that, to change the way of the agriculture production, and transfer a lot of land which are used for provision crops now into a base to develop liana herbs, valuable grasses and good fruits in the future. ( from )

Reforestation Project in Guiyang, Guizhou – Increase in the amount of vegetation cover in the degraded mountains of Guiyang. Helped in the promotion of biological diversity of the area.  See:

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Reforesting rural lands in western China pays big dividends, Stanford researchers say

Planting trees instead of crops on sloping land helps prevent erosion from heavy rains, Stanford researchers find. And China’s attempt to find new jobs for displaced farmers is having some success.   (Stanford Report, May 11, 2011}

…”We can think of these life-support services as flowing from natural capital, like forests and wetlands, which provide very tangible, financially valuable services,” said Daily. “Forests soak up tremendous amounts of water, filter it and release it gradually into rivers and streams that we use for drinking water, hydroelectric power and growing crops.” In many ways, the environment can help mitigate damage from floods and even human disasters, like oil spills, she added.

China’s land conversion program has its roots in the late 1960s, when farmers in the mountainous western provinces began clearing vast stretches of land to make way for more crops. The increased agricultural production helped feed a growing nation but also set the scene for disaster. When record monsoon rains pelted the region in 1998, soil from the agricultural fields washed down the mountain slopes, killing thousands of people in the villages below.

The unprecedented damage caused by the floods prompted China to reconsider the wisdom of replacing forests with farms – especially in steeply sloping terrain. In 2000, the government launched a campaign to reforest the countryside and established several large-scale programs to help farmers in the western provinces find new work in surrounding cities…   (from )

from (from and

Guiyang churches 贵阳的教堂

 Guiyang churches 贵阳的教堂,   uploaded at:


from top:  Catholic church in Qingyan Ancient Town, Guiyang South Catholic Church, Guiyang North Catholic Church, Liuchongguan Catholic Church 六冲关天主教堂 (on the grounds of the Guizhou Botanical Garden, northeast Guiyang), and the Guiyang Convent of Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart 圣母堂. [Note: Some confusion about the last two items.]   See Chinese description at:   Photo of chapel uploaded at:, from L’oeil des Francais aux Guizhou 漂移的视线: 两个法国人眼中的贵州, ISBN 7-221-05444-4/K.572

Catholic churches in Guizhou  (from ):

2131、都匀市天主堂 (贵州省-都匀市) [详细]: 贵州省都匀市环东北路167号 (2012-3-10)
2129、雷家屯耶稣圣心堂 (贵州省-雷家屯) [详细]: 贵州省石阡县雷家屯 (2012-3-10)
2128、德江县天主堂 (贵州省-德江县) [详细]: 贵州省德江县中华街22-23号 (2012-3-10)
2124、镇宁天主堂 (贵州省-安顺市) [详细]: 贵州省镇宁布依族苗族自治县城关镇南街天主堂 (2012-1-26)
2121、花溪区圣若瑟天主堂 (贵州省-贵阳市) [详细]: 贵州省花溪区高坡镇苗族乡 (2012-3-10)
2120、清镇县天主堂 (贵州-) [详细]: 贵州省清镇县新华路260号 (2008-10-18)
2114、安龙天主堂 (贵州省-安龙) [详细]: 贵州省安龙县公园路7号 (2012-3-10)
2113、望谟天主堂 (贵州省-望谟县) [详细]: 贵州省望谟县 (2012-3-10)
2110、兴义市天主堂 (贵州省-兴义市) [详细]: 贵州兴义市老城街 (2012-3-10)
2109、花江天主堂 (贵州省-花江县) [详细]: 贵州省花江县 (2008-10-18)
2108、遵义市天主堂 (贵州-遵义市) [详细]: 贵州遵义市红花岗民主路元天宫巷4 号 (2012-3-10)
2107、桐梓天主堂 (贵州省-桐梓县) [详细]: 贵州省桐梓县 (2012-3-10)
2106、绥阳县天主堂 (贵州省-绥阳县) [详细]: 贵州省绥阳县 (2012-3-10)
2105、石阡县天主堂 (贵州省-石阡县) [详细]: 贵州省石阡县新华街546号 (2012-3-10)
2104、余庆天主堂 (贵州省-余庆县) [详细]: 贵州省余庆县 (2008-10-18)
2103、黄平天主堂 (贵州省-黄平县) [详细]: 贵州省黄平县旧州镇 (2012-3-10)
2102、铜仁县天主堂 (贵州省-铜仁县) [详细]: 贵州省铜仁县天主堂 (2012-3-10)
2101、六盘水市钟山区天主堂 (贵州省-六盘水市) [详细]: 贵州省六盘水市新桥路178号 (2010-12-3)
2100、露德圣母堂 (贵州省-贵定县黔南布依族苗族自治州) [详细]: 贵州省贵定县云务区犀头岩 (2010-2-9)
2099、贵阳新华路天主堂 (贵州省-贵阳市) [详细]: 贵阳市新华路兴隆街天主堂 (2012-3-5)
2097、麻池天主教堂 (内蒙古自治区-包头) [详细]: 包头火车站南麻池加油站东100米 (2013-2-14)
2096、惠水县德肋撒堂 (贵州省-黔南布依族苗族自治州) [详细]: 贵州省惠水县 (2010-2-9)
2095、青岩镇天主堂 (贵州省-) [详细]: 贵州省花溪区青岩镇 (2008-10-18)
2094、贵阳市圣若瑟主教座堂(北堂) (贵州省-贵阳市) [详细]: 贵州省贵阳市陕西路166号 (2012-3-21)


Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2013 生态文明贵阳国际论坛2013年年会

Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2013 生态文明贵阳国际论坛2013年年会  , more detailed content  at:

China commits to building eco-civilization

China will commit to its international obligations and work with countries around the world to build an eco-civilization for a better Earth, President Xi Jinping said in a congratulatory
letter to an environmental forum on Saturday.

In the letter, Xi extended his congratulations on the opening of the Eco Forum Global
Annual Conference 2013, which was held in Guiyang, capital city of southwest China’s Guizhou Province.

He said the forum concentrates on the international community’s common concerns about building an eco-civilization. He expressed his belief that the results of the forum will make positive contributions to protecting the global environment.

The president said building a beautiful China is an important part of the Chinese dream of
national rejuvenation.China will work in line with the idea of respecting, complying with and protecting nature, and implement the national policy of saving resources and protecting the environment, so as to promote green, recycling and low-carbon development, he said.

He said that to leave a good environment for future generations, China will incorporate building an ecological civilization into its economic, political, cultural and social development, and shape the industrial structure, production mode and people’s lifestyles in the spirit of saving resources and protecting the environment. (Source: Xinhua)
(from )

Tongren,Guizhou missionary history 贵州铜仁传教士历史: Local Girl Braves Danger of Bandits and Jap Attack- Life of Missionary in China Is Far From Being Dull- Local Girl in China -Zimmer Dec 5 1939 article

Tongren,Guizhou missionary history 贵州铜仁传教士历史:  Local Girl Braves Danger of Bandits and Jap Attack- Life of Missionary in China Is Far From Being Dull- Local Girl in China -Zimmer  Dec 5 1939 article, , see larger image:

Photo caption: Six weeks away by mail, when it gets through, Mrs. Silvia Zimmer will be spending here Christmas in Tungjen with her husband, Gerald, and their 18-month-old baby Sherwood

[copy of the original newspaper article supplied by Zimmer Foundation, , via former English teacher in Tongren, Guizhou and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Sky Lantz-Warner (now at the University of Dayton, in Ohio), ]

The Morgantown Post, Morgantown, W. Va., Tuesday, December 5, 1939

text of news article:

“When a plane flies over Morgantown, one rarely notices it.
When an airplane buzzes over the horizon toward Tungjen [Tongren铜仁], China, a former Morgantown girl picks up her baby boy and runs for the hills.
Now that the Japanese have pointed the nose of their war machine into Southern China to rivet shut the backdoor through which supplies have been coming to the Chinese, the war is closer to Mrs. Gerald Zimmer, the former Sylvia Zinn.
Her mother, Mrs. Josephine Zinn of 160 Fayette street, pointed out Tungjen on a detailed map of China. It is located in Kweichow [Guizhou贵州] Province.

Located in Interior

This former University co-ed lives six weeks away by mail in the hinterlands of China, 1,400 miles west of Shanghai. Starting at Peking, she and her husband, Gerald Zimmer, kept one jump ahead of Jap bombers in their move in the interior.
“Tunjen is thirty miles from the nearest road,” Mrs. Zinn explained. Everything must be shipped in by boat to this city of 24,000 persons located in a region of mountains.
Raiding the river boats is a lucrative source of income to the bandits. The Zimmers just missed having their belongings fall into bandit hands. [missing text] … enough to meet their I.O.U.’s by the first of the year.

Bandits Beheaded

Telling of measures taken against the bandits, Mrs. Zimmer wrote in her last letter:
“Bandits aren’t bothering us now, Thank goodness! They (the soldiers) have been tracking them down and killing them. Friday four of them were beheaeded outside the North Gate. We had to come past there and there were two bodies and four heads still there…an awful sight.”
High walls completely surround the city and the residences of the missionaries are walled in also. Yet despite this, the bandits make raids on the city.
A raid on the North Gate near where the Zimmers live caused a bit of an uproar what with bullets zipping close to the house. The noise wakened the Zimmer’s baby boy before he could be taken to a safe place on the first floor.

Help One Another

The bandits made off with some loot and a couple Chinese women after killing several of the city’s residents.
Missionaries stick together in China, regardless of denomination or creed. If some difficulty arises, word of it travels fast and far.
The supply of powdered milk for the Zimmer child was low and prospects of replenishing the necessity have been bad at times.
“They were down to the last spoonful one time,” Mrs. Zinn said, “when a bundle arrived from a distant missionary’s wife. It contained a supply of the needed food. Another time, a missionary coming in from the ‘outside’ stopped and left a supply.”

Things Happen

Teaching and taking care of a house are but part of the day’s work for Mrs. Zimmer. The most [unclear text]… things pop up for her [missing text]… saying a woman nearby had taken poison,” Mrs. Zinn related. “Sylvia hurried after the girl, trying to think of the remedies she had heard of for poisoning.”
Arriving in the room with the stricken woman, she set to work and applied two of the remedies she remembered. They saved the woman’s life, the Chinese doctor told her later.
The Chinese have a simple faith in the ability of the missionaries to cure their ills. Mr. Zimmer treated as many as a thousand persons at one time for minor ills while on one of his trips in the surrounding rural region.

Going to Stay

The Zimmers carry their share of the burden of the missionary work for the region. Mr. Zimmer is the only white man for miles around. An American nurse and the widow of a missionary are the only other white persons in Tungjen.
Does the increasing difficulties have them stumped?
No sir!
“They are determined to stay until 1942 when their first six years are up,” Mrs. Zinn stated. Meanwhile, the former Marion, Ohio, youth and the West Virginia University co-ed are having the time of their lives doing the work they thoroughly enjoy in the midst of one of the most exciting chapters in the world’s history.’

= = =

Rev. & Mrs. Gerald R. Zimmer were Educators who, in the middle 1930s decided they wanted to be missionaries and went to China to preach and teach. They went to a very remote area in the interior, to a small town of Tongren. There they lived with the people, learned their language and customs and worked to improve their situation.

The Zimmer Foundation initiated a scholarship program in 2004 that supports the major cost of education for students annually for the second, third and final years at Tongren University. Now, over twenty students have been provided scholarships. It was our vision that at least two students will be added each year over a ten year program. Many donors have allowed us to exceed our visions of the scholarship program. The selection of the students is based upon their academic achievements and financial needs. The student’s family is identified with an income at or less than the poverty level established by the Tongren prefecture officials.

In villages of rural China, many students are the first of their family to complete college. Zimmer Foundation has arranged to financially support specific students with financial needs. The eligibility for receipt of such scholarships is first year college students with academic excellence who come from very poor families. Often these are children of farmers whose annual income is less than $264 USD. The families earn below the declared poverty level defined by each county.

The Zimmer Foundation for China was established to implement holistic programs to improve the economic and spiritual conditions in rural Guizhou. The Zimmer Foundation is a US 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization established in memory of Rev. & Mrs. Gerald R. Zimmer who served in China 1936-1948.

The Zimmer Foundation for China
7702 Lake Vista Ct. Suite 202, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202, USA
Phone 941-306-5022, E-Mail : ,  (from )

see also:
Tongren University: Love Has No Boundaries (about Zimmerman Foundation, for Tongren, Guizhou) , & interview with Sky Lantz-Wagner, Peace Corps teacher, 2012,

Zimmer Foundation for China,

Tongren University 铜仁学院, Guizhou prov.,

Oakland University (Michigan) – Guizhou exchange

Oakland University (Michigan) – Guizhou exchange , from,   posted at:

The partnership between Guizhou Education Bureau, Guizhou, China and Oakland University, Michigan, U.S.A., was established in 1986 by the first OU delegation to China. Over the past 20 years, this unique partnership has been successfully and productively developed and expanded, beneficial to students, teachers, administrators, and many other participants from both sides. The partnership consists of five major components: the Summer English Language Institute, the MAT Joint-Masters Program, the Oakland-China Educational Consortium for School Districts, the Leadership Training Project, and the Visitors Exchange Programs.

Program Coordinator:Dr. Ledong Li, Oakland University, Pawley Hall 450 D, 2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, Michigan 48307, USA ,  Email: , Phone within United States: 1-248-370-4373 Fax: 1-248-370-4367, Phone from China: 001-248-370-4373 Fax: 001-248-370-4367;

HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Guizhou 贵州的艾滋病


HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Guizhou   贵州的艾滋病

uploaded at:


“”Our school held a big event to mark the 25th World AIDS Day”

user: GuiZhou Business School time:2012-12-1

November 30th 2012 — On the eve of the 25th World AIDS Day, sponsored by Guizhou province AIDS Committee and Guizhou province Poverty Alleviation Office, we school held a big event “Take action to prevent AIDS” . Xu Jingju, the director of Guizhou province AIDS Committee, Gao Chunxiu, the deputy investigator, Mr Yang Hongyuan, and Quan Xianjun, the clerk of Guizhou province Poverty Alleviation Office came to our school and were involved in the activities.

Xu Jingju, the director of Guizhou province AIDS Committee, gave us an enthusiastic speech, in which she introduced the current work and the obtained achievements, meanwhile she appealed “Participation, Dedication and Prevention by all people “, which means by establishing a healthy and civilized life style and actively participating in the public benefit activities of preventing AIDS, we should make contributions to defending our homeland.

Then Mr Yang Hongyuan gave us a lecture about how to prevent AIDS, during which the present students competed to answer the relevant questions. At last, the big event ended with a wonderful performance.

(from )
= = =

China province project reaches out to young people
06 September 2006

The guidebooks call it ‘remote’, ‘undiscovered’ – China’s south-western province of Guizhou is home to some examples of extreme natural beauty including China’s largest waterfall, the ‘Huangguoshu’ and the Zhijin Caves, famous for their massive-scale stalagmite stone pillars.

But despite its remote location and idyllic surroundings, the province, like every other in China, is increasingly affected by HIV. From a few individual reported cases in 1993, it is currently estimated that about 37,000 people in Guizhou are living with HIV. There are signs of the epidemic becoming progressively generalized and increasingly women are becoming infected.

With hope and help – A self-help group for people living with HIV in Guizhou
A joint HIV prevention and care project, run by Guizhou provincial authorities, and UNAIDS` Cosponsor UNICEF is making some headway towards tackling the growing figures and at the same time involving people and groups from all sectors in the AIDS response. Established in 2001, the project focuses particularly on young people, tackling the often difficult issue of injecting drug use and its crossover with HIV, as well as providing care and support for people living with HIV.

“The initiative contains three key areas – development of a strategic plan on AIDS involving high-level advocacy and media mobilization; HIV prevention among children and young people in and out of school and within drug rehabilitation centres; and care and support to children living with HIV and their families,” said Christian Voumard, UNICEF Representative and chairman of the UN theme group on AIDS in China.

The project aims to build and involve all key officials and provincial groups in the AIDS response. Vice Provincial Governor of Guizhou Wu Jiafu underlines how the initiative has helped bring people together. “As government officials, we now know how we can work together with multiple sectors to confront AIDS and support people living with and affected by HIV. This network is now implementing the national policies and local policies to support young people, people living with HIV and their families to fight against the disease and its social impact,” he said.

“Though the resources here are very limited, we’re confident that we can get ahead of the HIV epidemic with the participation of all these young people and people infected and affected,” he added.

Results so far have been extremely encouraging. Provincial policies on HIV have been put in place and training sessions with authorities and project managers are already underway. Since the project’s inception, 45 high schools have developed curriculum on HIV and drug use prevention in eight of the province’s prefectures, reaching more than 70,000 children and young people.

Voluntary testing and counselling services have been set up within seven drug rehabilitation centres across the province.

“By knowing my HIV status and with all the knowledge of prevention of HIV, I will stop sharing needles with my friends and engaging in high risk sex,” said one young man at the Tongren prefecture drug rehabilitation centre.

Through the initiative, gradually people living with HIV are being brought to the forefront of the response in the province. A number of self-help groups of people living with HIV have been developed with the participation of 50 people living with HIV. More than 100 family members and 26 children and their families participated in care and support campaigns in the prefectures of Guiyang and Tongren, receiving community based care for family life and schooling.

“I never imagined it could be possible that authorities and big organizations would care about us –people living with HIV—and our children,” said one man living with HIV from Tongren prefecture who has been involved in the programme. “I lost my hope because of the pain of disease, social discrimination and poverty, but this is helping to restore the hope by supporting me and my children.”

UNICEF was the first major donor on AIDS in Guizhou province and provided some of the ground work for other donors’ work in the area. Programmes supported by the US Center for Disease Control and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (Round 4) have since benefited from this in their support to Guizhou.

UNICEF will continue to support the project in their new 2006-2010 programme and activities will be expanded to include prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and increasing care and support for children affected by AIDS.

The joint project in Guizhou is focusing particularly on young people
“This programme has been an example of bringing together a variety of different groups within the AIDS response – and crucially invovles young people and people living with HIV,” said UNAIDS Country Coordinator for China, Joel Rehnstrom.

“We are seeing the project help reduce numbers of new infections, as well as break down the barriers and taboos of involving people living with HIV – which in turn is breaking down stigma and discrimination related to HIV.”

UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot is visiting China from 7 – 12 September to encourage continued leadership and commitment and to mobilize a truly multi-sectoral response to AIDS in China. As part of his visit, Dr Piot is participating in a three-day mission to Guizhou, visiting the Hui Long community and Zhijing County. Dr Piot will meet with representatives of provincial government and city leaders and visit various key sites that focusing on HIV and drug use.


Peace Corps English teachers in Guizhou at play

Peace Corps teachers in Guizhou at play

uploaded at:

images from

– – –

Peace Corps China
My Life as a Complex Adaptive System

Guiyang get-together

2010 September 20, Posted by sky

Last weekend my site mate, Kate, and I went to Guizhou’s capital, Guiyang, for a new volunteer welcome party. I had to work until 4:30 on Friday and we caught the 6:00 bus out of Tongren. The ride took about 5 1/2 hours, but really wasn’t too bad. We got in around 11:30 and caught a cab to where some of our cohort was hanging out. We had a few drinks and then I headed over to my friend’s apartment to catch up on things and crash.

The next day was non-stop action. We got up, had some breakfast, and went back to the bus station to get return tickets. From there we went out of the city to a Peace Corps site to play hoops. We had about 18 guys, which was perfect. We had 3 teams of 6, and each game was only 5 points. This gave our out-of-shape bodies time to rest before getting back out for another round. Two hours on the court flew by, but by the end we were all pretty exhausted and went back to our respective apartments to shower and rest.

The evening was as eventful as the afternoon. We all met downtown at which point we divided into different groups for dinner. Some of us went for pizza, others for Muslim food, and still others, including me, went to bean hot pot. Bean hot pot is much different from the fire-like hot pot from Chengdu. It is much more mellow and, as the name suggests, they put pinto beans (or something like them) in the broth. The general idea is the same: you cook raw ingredients in the soup, transfer them to your bowl to cool, and then eat them. At the end, however, you have the beans at the bottom, that when you put over a bowl of rice, is nothing short of manna from the gods. Wow, is that stuff good! I think it is my favorite food in China, so far.

After dinner we all met at a bar that the China 15s rented for the evening. The bar had a dance floor inside and a balcony with a beautiful view outside. We chatted and danced and had an overall great time. We left by 1 and I came back to David’s place to watch the Bulldogs lose again. Sigh. It was 3:00 by the time I went to be and I am still a little tired from all the excitement. The good news is that we have Wednesday through Friday off and I am looking forward to the rest.
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Petzl RocTrip 2011: Getu Valley, China
Monday, 7 November, 2011

I just returned from the Getu Valley in China, where I was staying for 2 weeks for the Petzl RocTrip. This trip was one of the most unique journeys I’ve ever experienced. I had never traveled to Asia before, and therefore that element alone was new and exciting. China is different from the US in so many ways, from most significantly the language, to the food, to the overall way of life. On October 22 I flew from Denver to Guiyang with Emily Harrington, Joe Kinder, Collette McInnery, Dave Graham, Andrew Bisharat and Lynne Hill. We arrived in Guiyang October 24 (I stepped on the plane 18, and stepped off the plane having turned 19 .. 🙂 )

The trip was long but actually really fun because we were all super psyched to arrive to this unknown, unfamiliar place. Once in Guiyang we met up with a bunch of other Petzl travelers from different parts of the world and we all boarded a bus which shuttled us 4 hours outside of the already rural city of Guiyang to the real out-country of China: Getu Valley!

Huge limestone arches and rolling rice-paddy mountains surrounded our base in Getu Valley. Petzl rented out a hotel for the athletes to stay at and eat at during the trip and the rooms were more luxurious than we anticipated. Emily and I shared a room that was basic but nice. The hotel lacked comforts like hot water though, so we had to get used to cold showers, but we adjusted to this! We also just got pretty dirty and stopped caring about frivolous luxuries like hot showers and clean clothes… Though now that I just took a nice hot shower here in Colorado, I realize how much I missed it!

Climbing in the Getu Valley was very different as well. The rock was limestone and the main place that we climbed at was called the “Great Arch.” To approach this sector we first took a boat across a river, then we had to hike up 1,400 steps which was probably the coolest approach I’ve ever encountered on a climbing trip. From the Great Arch we could look out over the valley and see the surrounding mountains and stupendous cliffs rising from the river below.

During the RocTrip it was really inspiring to climb with so many motivated, well-established climbers from all over; China, USA, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, and more. There were also many spectators, organizers, photographers, and videographers.

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Kosher Chinese – Living Teaching and Eating with China’s Other Billion, by Michael Levy — former Guizhou University Teacher

 Kosher Chinese – Living Teaching and Eating with China’s Other Billion, by Michael Levy — former Guizhou University Teacher,  see enlarged image at:

As a Peace Corps volunteer, I was stationed in Guiyang, the capital city of China’s poorest province. Before leaving, I spoke not a word of Chinese, but after two years and lots of help from the amazing Peace Corps teachers, I was close to fluent. I taught ESL and American Literature at Guizhou University, and helped organize a learning center for children in a nearby village. I also ended up on the university basketball team and—at six feet tall and 165 pounds—earned the campus-wide nickname “Shaq.” Since returning home, I’ve been teaching a bit of Chinese, and I’ve led tours for American high school students interested in traveling around China. I’m sure this is but the beginning of a life-long connection to China in general, and Guiyang in particular. I have a memoir about the experience, Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China’s Other Billion (Henry Holt 2011).

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Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China’s Other Billion
by Michael Levy
An irreverent tale of an American Jew serving in the Peace Corps in rural China, which reveals the absurdities, joys, and pathos of a traditional society in flux

In September of 2005, the Peace Corps sent Michael Levy to teach English in the heart of China’s heartland. His hosts in the city of Guiyang found additional uses for him: resident expert on Judaism, romantic adviser, and provincial basketball star, to name a few. His account of overcoming vast cultural differences to befriend his students and fellow teachers is by turns poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.

While reveling in the peculiarities of life in China’s interior, the author also discovered that the “other billion” (people living far from the coastal cities covered by the American media) have a complex relationship with both their own traditions and the rapid changes of modernization. Lagging behind in China’s economic boom, they experience the darker side of “capitalism with Chinese characteristics,” daily facing the schizophrenia of conflicting ideologies.

Kosher Chinese is an illuminating account of the lives of the residents of Guiyang, particularly the young people who will soon control the fate of the world.

Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Holt Paperbacks
ISBN 0805091963 (ISBN13: 9780805091960)
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Central China is a strange place. Unlike the globalized, westernized cities on the coast, the land-locked, impoverished provinces of the interior rarely get foreign visitors. These provinces are home to the laobaixing, or “old hundred names,” a euphemism for the billion-or-so Zhou Six Packs I got to know while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer.

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The Quest For Kosher Among China’s Other Billion
July 27, 2011 3:16 PM

The nation will soon observe the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, events that prompted many Americans to explore faith or military service. Educator Michael Levy felt a call to serve in a different way — through the Peace Corps. In 2005, he was sent to Guiyang, a remote village in central China.

He chronicles that journey in his new memoir Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching and Eating with China’s Other Billion.

In an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Levy says he was initially surprised that China — a country regarded as a rising global superpower — even accepted Peace Corps volunteers. “One of the things that makes the Peace Corp unique is that it only goes where it’s invited,” says Levy. “When China offered the invitation, I think Washington, D.C., was excited to build a bond any way possible.”

Beyond China’s booming cities lives a massive impoverished community. “There are a billion people in China’s interior who are still living on a few dollars a day. That’s Guizhou province, the poorest province in China,” he says.

Levy reveals that the average income in the community where he volunteered was 100 U.S. dollars per month. That’s the stipend he lived off of as well. Most of Levy’s Guizhou University students were first-generation college students from farming families who had dreams of leaving the province for the economically booming coast. But he explains that the dream is tough to turn into reality, “Shanghai, Beijing — it’s out of reach for the average person in China.”

Keeping Kosher?

For Levy, the main challenge was negotiating when to yield to local customs and become a truly immersed community member … and when to assert his American ideals.

He says it’s the same dilemma many people experience when they’re invited to share a meal at someone else’s house.

“Maybe you’re a vegetarian and it’s meat; maybe you’re Muslim and it’s pork; or Hindu and it’s beef. Whatever it is, there’s always a moment in people’s lives when they have to decide, ‘am I going to be the best guest possible and honor this person’s effort and just eat it? Or am I going to bring my identity into this and push the plate away?'” explains Levy.

He says he decided to just accept what people prepared for him gracefully and even enthusiastically. He admits, “I was in a land of pork popsicles. And I gotta tell you this — it was delicious!”

A Spiritual Void

However, many of the Chinese people whom Levy encountered seemed to be left unsatisfied when it comes to spirituality. Levy recounts that in the 1960s, communist leader Chairman Mao did everything he could to tear down the “spiritual nervous system.” Mao had Buddhist monks physically beaten, temples demolished and sutras burned.

Levy says his students had never been encouraged to think about or discuss God, spirituality or religion.

One of his students, Jennifer, even told him, “You are lucky, because as an American Jew, you have something to believe in. But what can Chinese believe in? We do not have the God. We are losing all of our Chinese days, like Mid-Autumn Festival and Grave Sweeping Day.”

Levy says the Chinese government’s big challenge now is to rebuild some sort of spiritual tradition. So far, its chosen method is to construct Confucianism centers nationwide.

Rethinking Politics, Governance And Economics

Levy also came to understand that the Chinese have fervent patriotism despite the lack of democracy. And he says they consider the 1989 massacre of protesters in Tiananmen Square as ancient history.

Now, in his teaching career in the U.S., Levy has unique advice for his American students who want to understand China. “Imagine that there’s a country exactly like the United States. Exactly the same size. It’s got the same cities. It’s got the same number of rich people and poor people. It’s just like us. And now add 1 billion peasants. That’s China,” he says. “If we added a billion peasants to our country, how much would that change our politics? How much would that change our understanding of economics?”

Levy says keeping that perspective helps him understand why the average Chinese person puts such a high value on stability. “They need a government that keeps things under control so they can keep growing … so this billion people can have something to hope for,” he adds. Otherwise, it’s chaos, says Levy.

Learning From One Another

Levy says that after his journey with the Guizhou community, he reads newspapers differently and takes a more global perspective on international issues.

When asked what he hopes he taught the Chinese, Levy responds, “I hope that they learn that Americans are not all fat, not all out to get them, and that there’s a big distinction between what our government does and what an average American wants or believes.”


MICHEL MARTIN, host: Of course in this country we’ve had our own experience with terrorism. And, in fact, we will soon be observing the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And like many people, we plan to reflect on all the ways that 9/11 changed the country and ourselves.
We already know that many people felt a call to faith, others a call to service, perhaps in the military. Our next guest felt that call to service in a different way. He decided to join the Peace Corps. And to his surprise, was sent to a rural village smack in the middle of China, where among his many challenges was trying to figure out how to keep kosher.
Michael Levy writes about this dilemma in his hilarious new memoir “Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China’s Other Billion.” It chronicles his experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer starting in 2005. And he’s with us now from our studios in New York. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us.
MICHAEL LEVY: Thanks, Michel.
MARTIN: So, why did you decide to join the Peace Corps after 9/11?
LEVY: On September 1st, 2001, I moved to the Upper West Side, and I moved from Jerusalem, where I had been studying in a yeshiva. So I moved out of one frying pan and sort of into another frying pan. And like a lot of people in New York at the time, I felt helpless. I was angry and I wanted to do something. And I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t going to join the Marine Corps. I get woozy if I stub my toe. So I’m not tough enough for that.
MARTIN: So it wasn’t a good choice for you.
LEVY: That would not have been a good choice. But I had heard of this thing called the Peace Corps. And the more that I read, the more I felt that it was a way for someone with my temperament and my set of values to do service to my country.
MARTIN: I think it’s a surprise to many people that Peace Corps volunteers are serving in China. I think we’re used to thinking of China now, as kind of a rising economic power, flexing its muscles on the international stage in matters of diplomacy, for example. So I think it is surprising to many people that China accepts Peace Corps volunteers. Was it a surprise to you?
LEVY: It was. And, actually, the word accept is a perfect one to use, Michel. Because one of the things that makes Peace Corps unique is that it only goes where it’s invited. So, when China offered the invitation, I think that Washington, D.C. was excited to build a bond in any way possible. Now, of course, we see in the media that it’s a rising country – that’s a really important story. But there’s a billion people in the interior of China who are still living on a couple of dollars a day.
MARTIN: And that’s where you went.
LEVY: That’s where I went. Yeah. If you dropped your finger right in the middle of a map of China, you’re going to hit Guizhou province.
MARTIN: So tell us about Guizhou province. You said it is the poorest province in China.
LEVY: Yes. It’s the poorest province in China. As per Peace Corps policy, I was given a stipend that put me right at the average level of my community, which was about $100 a month. Most of my students at Guizhou University came from farming families. Just about all of them were first generation college students. And for most of them, the hope – well, it was more of a dream, really, was to leave the province and to get to the coast where this boom is taking place.
But now it’s a few years later, many of them have graduated and it’s out of reach. Shanghai, Beijing – it’s really out of reach for the average person in China.
MARTIN: And what are the immediate challenges for you? You know what? I’m not going to get into too much detail about the immediate challenge for you when you got there because a lot of it has to do with toileting, so I’ll just leave it at that.
MARTIN: But food was a challenge because you’d been living in Jerusalem, you had been attending yeshiva, it’s reasonable to assume you kept kosher.
LEVY: Well, ah. Yes. Yes. Here is the central theme. And this is something that you don’t have to go all the way to China to have this problem. If you, Michel, go to dinner, maybe you’re vegetarian and it’s meat. Maybe you are Muslim and it’s pork or Hindu and it’s beef, whatever it is, there’s always a moment in people’s lives when they have to decide, am I going to be the best guest possible and honor this person’s efforts and just eat it or am I going to bring my own identity into this and push the plate away?
As a Peace Corps volunteer, I really, really struggled with this every day. But what I decided to do was be a good guest. And my definition of being a good guest is to accept what is prepared with grace.
MARTIN: Which was immediately tested.
LEVY: It was tested every day. I was in a land of, like, pork popsicles. And I got to tell you this – it was delicious.
MARTIN: OK. I’m really not – the pork isn’t what was getting me. It was the millipedes.
LEVY: Yeah. The millipedes.
MARTIN: The millipedes.
LEVY: Well, every day I was having a little bit of an identity crisis. But I really did from the very beginning try to make a commitment to not being the ugly American. And to listening and to learning and to trying to become as much a part of the community as possible. And that’s really what Peace Corps asks its volunteers to do. And I don’t know when we’re supposed to impose our own ideas. I mean, politics included, you know, if we’re talking about democracy in China or when I’m just supposed to say thank you, I’ll try this. It’s not usually what I eat, but I’m going to give it a go.
MARTIN: If you’re just joining us, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
I’m speaking with Michael Levy, the author of “Kosher Chinese.” It’s his memoir about being a Peace Corps volunteer in China.
You learned a lot of interesting things about China in a way that when you came back you realized that many people’s perceptions of China as this kind of aggressive, you know, elbows out, my way or the highway is not universal. In fact, that a lot of that is on the edges. In fact, you make this point that one of the officials at the school you were teaching said, if I were to only go to New York and San Francisco, would I really understand the United States?
LEVY: Yeah.
MARTIN: Which is a powerful insight. So tell us a little bit more about what the difference is between the perception many Americans have of China and the other billion, as you put it.
LEVY: Right. So that was the president of Guizhou University who asked me to call him President Bill because Bill Clinton was his hero, which is a little bit bizarre. But his point was if we only read The New York Times, we’re going to understand Shanghai and Beijing. We might understand Tibet and the Dalai Lama. But that leaves out a billion people in the middle and those were the very people that I was getting to know every day.
The other billion are defined by a lot of things. But the part that came up the most for me was a real spiritual emptiness. In the ’60s, Chairman Mao did all he could to sort of tear out the spiritual ecosystem or the nervous system. So Buddhist monks were beaten, temples were torn down, sutras were burned. And my students, they’ve grown up in a China where it’s not that oppressive, but they’ve never been encouraged to think about God or spirituality or religion. They’ve never had the chance to talk about it.
MARTIN: You write about this. You say one of your students, Jennifer, said, you are lucky, because as an American Jew, you have something to believe in. But what can Chinese believe in? We do not have the god. We are losing all of our Chinese days, like Mid-Autumn Festival and Grave Sweeping Day. Do you think that’s a widespread view?
LEVY: I think that it’s very widespread. I think that the big challenge for the Chinese government – and I think that they know this – is actually to rebuild some sort of tradition. And what’s interesting is the Chinese government has been promoting Confucianism as a return to Chinese values. So there’s Confucian centers being built all over the country.
I don’t know what will give Jennifer meaning in her life. But it’s depressing to me to see how many of my friends and students in China are really drifting.
MARTIN: You also, though, came to understand a real patriotism that I think many Americans are puzzled by. For example, I think many Americans have this notion that democracy is so great. You know, our way of life is so great. Why doesn’t everybody want what we have? What you came to understand is there’s a really kind of nuanced view of democracy. It is not what we would think. Could you talk a little bit more about that?
LEVY: When I talk to my students here in the United States and I want them to understand China, I say, imagine that there’s a country exactly like the United States. Exactly the same size. It’s got the same cities. It’s got the same number of rich people and poor people. It’s just like us. And now add one billion peasants. That’s China. If we added a billion peasants to our country, how much would that change our politics? How much would that change our understanding of economics?
I think that thinking of it that way helps me understand why the average Chinese person so values stability and says, what we need is a government that keeps things under control so we can keep growing slowly, maybe even quickly at this point, but so that we can keep growing so that this billion people have something to hope for, because without that hope, chaos is perhaps the result.
MARTIN: So, how does that make you see Tiananmen Square differently?
LEVY: I see it the same way I see the Kent State massacre, which most Americans my age don’t even know about. It’s ancient history to most Chinese. A couple people, you know, got out of control. The government did what it needed to do to keep things stable and now we’ve moved on.
MARTIN: Well, what do you think you learned from your Peace Corps experience? And what do you think your students learned from you?
LEVY: I just have a much more global view of the problems that we get so caught up in in a smaller way, and I think that that’s a mistake.
MARTIN: And what do you think your students learned from you?
LEVY: I hope that they learned that Americans are not all fat. That Americans arenot all out to get them. And that there’s a big distinction between what our government does and what an average American wants or believes.
MARTIN: Michael Levy is the author of the new memoir, “Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China’s Other Billion.” He was kind enough to join us from our bureau in New York. Michael Levy, thanks so much for joining us.
LEVY: Thanks, Michel, I’m a big fan.
MARTIN: And what are you having for lunch?
LEVY: I’m going to have a bagel.
Copyright © 2011 NPR.

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NatureWize 自然之道- a nature conservation and education organization in Guizhou

NatureWize 自然之道– a nature conservation and education organization in China’s southwest province Guizhou

Welcome to NatureWize! Come join us as we experience the joy, the health, the wisdom of nature and work to ensure nature becomes part of our everyday lives. We want to grow the future leaders who understand the value of nature and will preserve the blessings of nature for our children’s children, and the children for generations to come.

contacts: Katie Scott, 159 8515 4322, ;
中文:Sunny,, 189 8410 0841; or join our active QQ group: 144 644 034

Our Programs
NatureWize’s mission is to help connect youth and families to nature by providing activities that encourage more frequent and intimate nature encounters, as well as activities that inspire and promote its conservation. Our current programs include the following activities:

Family Nature Workshops: A group of families gather in a pre-selected park to participate in a series of activities designed to help them gradually grow more intimate with the nature surroundings. Activities include games, crafts, walks and picnics.

Eco-Camps: These are overnight excursions in a variety of locations in Guizhou, arranged in partnership with other local organizations. Participants have the chance to completely engage with a natural environment and its community. They’ll have the ability to come away with a deeper connection with that community and its ecosystem, by both strengthening their understanding through educational activities as well as being able to invest in it through their own efforts.

Summer Camp: Youth from 6 to 12 can spend several consecutive days in a natural environment, enabling them to more deeply connect to the natural landscape and its ecosystem. Activities are both educational and fun. In fact, kids usually are having fun without realizing how much they are learning!
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Earth Day Trash Pick-Up at Hongfeng Lake!
Way to go families! We sure had a very full event for Earth Day, one that was educational, meaningful, and fun. Upon arriving at Xiang Zhai Village to see the wetland water filtration demonstration project created by Guizhou Province Guiyang Ecological Civilization Foundation. From the village we proceeded to walk down to the edge of the lake to pick up trash. We soon found ourselves on the dried up bed of the lake (its dry season) where there was plenty of trash to fill our bags with. After our walk and a short rest children divided into 4 groups to participate in water testing of 4 parameters: water and air temperatuire, turbidity, PH, and dissolved oxygen. We then settled down for a little picnic near the steps of the Yi Hotel. It was a bit cold, so soon afer we jumped on the bus to return home, a bit tired but with satisfaction that we understood our water source better and did something to protect it.
Easter Amongst Blossoms 2013
Our Easter Event began after an evening of spring thunderstorms. The park was cool and moist, and speckled with pink blossoms on the grass and in the trees overhead. As families arrived we whisked them away to our traditional activities of dyeing and decorating Easter eggs and baskets, which was followed by a stroll into the forest to touch and smell the delights of nature. Our festivities continued with an egg relay and picnicking, closing up with the finale egg hunt and treasure basket hunt.
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NatureWize Assistant Internships (Paid and Unpaid)
March-June 2013, Guiyang, Guizhou
Position Overview:
NatureWize, a nature conservation and education organization in China’s southwest province Guizhou is looking for positive and energetic interns interested in understanding the work of and contributing to the success of a blossoming nature education and conservation organization. We would like the intern to assist in 1) a variety of administrative tasks, and/or 2) nature education classes and events, including NatureWize’s first Water Festival. The intern’s specific tasks will depend on the intern’s experience and interest.

The ideal candidate for this position is outgoing and enthusiastic about working with people, has excellent communication (English and Chinese preferred but not a pre-requisite) and problem solving skills, and most importantly, a passion for protecting natural resources and high quality of life for future generations. Specific background requirements requested include:
Enrolled in undergraduate school training or already graduated
Ability to prioritize and follow through effectively
Ability to multi-task and manage short- and long-term deadlines

Capable of using computers and databases (Microsoft Word and Excel)
Good communication skills (Chinese or English, or bilingual a plus), both on the phone, e-communications and in person
Desire to work in a team-oriented atmosphere
Special Job Requirements and Physical Demands:
Chinese Language; Flexible work hours; some evening and weekend hours may occur.
Possibilities for compensation dependent on availability and time commitment.
To Apply:
Email the following (with the subject line “Urban Farmer Project Manager”)
to , Katie Scott, Director and, 张沥亢.
Two references
Cover letter, which should include the following:
Your personal understanding of the importance of the project;
How your background prepares you to successfully achieve all goals of the project.

Deadline for submission: Open until filled, needed immediately
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项 目
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