Today we traveled by foot to 3 previous camera sites that were installed in 2014 and checked the data on the cameras. We filmed the Dr. Chen and the rangers cleaning the equipment, testing the batteries, and installing new memory cards and moisture absorbency packets. The moisture packets are necessary because of the high humidity in the region and the sensitivity of the equipment. We were told that they had lost a few cameras in the past due to the humidity of the area, so protecting them from the elements was a high priority.
After we returned from the field, the two Mr. Sha’s wanted to take us to a museum that honored the communist party. Shushien, a graduate student from a local university in a neighboring province, explained to us that this region is very famous for its historical context in the Red Army’s Long March. The museum had several barracks rooms where members of the Red Army would stay and many artifacts from the time when they came through in 1934, including a horseshoe that was identical the one I found in the field.
It was interesting to think that the horse shoe could have been from that period instead of from the mine. Other artifacts that were there were old rifles, various potteries that were used for carrying oil and liquor, a meeting table and there were many pictures and displays explaining the history of the area. I wish I was able to read and understand more because the museum is a historically significant place to this region and the locals are very proud of their heritage.
After the trip to the museum we ate dinner with several of the regions reserve directors and they had this container that looked like a gasoline container filled with alcohol. Shuang explained to me that it was made from Rice and Corn and the alcohol content was nearly 52%. It was really harsh, much stronger the liquor I had at Shaudon’s house and I could’ve definitely used a chaser. The restaurant was really beautiful and the food was amazing. Everyone warned us before we arrived that the food was really spicy, but I find Mexican food much spicier, this food was really fresh and amazing. The area is famous for it’s tofu.
We had dishes of bamboo shoots, potatoes, lettuce, rice, carrots, and there were also several dishes of meat. After several plates of food and several rounds of shots everyone was real cheery by the end of the evening. We were complemented by the reserve staff on our chopstick skills. The reserve staff said they wanted Dr. Lewisson from the SDSU biology department to return because she was the best drinker and they wanted to challenge her again.
The reserve staff also spoke very highly of Dr. An and his research in the area. Shuang explained to me that he is very well respected in this area and held with high regard in the reserve. As we were leaving the restaurant owner asked to take our picture to post on the wall. From what Shuang told me we were the one millionth customer. Again, I felt very honored by these people and their hospitality. I couldn’t get over how nice everyone I met was to us even though there was the obvious language barrier, it did not stop them from being genuine and generous to us. I appreciated every moment with them.