Some days are just different than most others. Today the bus ride to the university was stopped by a road block only a few stops away from the university where I normally disembark. The bus driver indicated that he would not go any further because of the people in the street. It appeared to be an issue with water in village setting. This is what I gathered from the pictures that this large group of people with some large photos of waterlogged scenes. These images were not entirely surprising, I had heard of mudslides and too much rain last week all over the news. After arriving in the office the graduate students were feverishly cleaning all of their labs and work spaces. Pulling everything out into the hall, including desks and computers, lab tables, etc… in order to clean it all thoroughly. One of the grad students informed us that Dr. Wang, the dean, had told them that their labs were filthy and to clean them at once. This is the Thursday before the one week holiday. Needless to say the office was upside down and the hallway was filled with: plant material, glass bottles and beakers, boxes, etc… Katie and I set up in the coffee shop on campus. It was an unexpected start to a warm and sunny day.

After 3 weeks of working in graduate biology office at the university I have been rewarded with one week of holidays. In 1949 China became a communist country October 1st is the celebration for the new china. Golden Week many return to their hometowns to spend this extended time with their families. Many students will leave the university since classes are suspended. Not sure what I will do with the week.

Likely I will work on some neglected projects, sight see and prepare for the next week when we will be heading to Shangluo City. This next trip into the Chinese countryside will hopefully give us an opportunity to interview more farmers of traditional Chinese medicinal plants as well as to visit a pharmaceutical company involved in the GAP. These pharmaceutical companies purchase medicinal plant materials from farmers, sometimes through a contracts, process the raw drugs and sell the final medicinal products in China and/or internationally. I hope to interview an executive of the pharmaceutical company about their involvement in the GAP as well as their relationship to the government, farmers and to university researchers. This week Katie and I have been perfecting our surveys and beginning our final report for the biology department.

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