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Week of February 26, 2017

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Thursday

We arrived in Beijing, the capital city of China, early this morning. What a fascinating city (and country) we are in. China is a pretty large country, a bit smaller than the United States. The full name of China is "The People's Republic of China." I guess this is kind of like people calling the United States of America the USA. Did you know that China is the most populated country in the world? There are approximately 1,322,990,000 people living there. That is almost 20% of the entire WORLD population! Holy Idaho! So 1 out of every 5 people living on the Earth, live in China! We have also visited the 2nd most populated country in the world (India), and we are VERY familiar with the 3rd most populated country in the world - USA.


China is one of the world's oldest civilizations. It has the world's longest used written language. We have some pictures in our blog that show the written language of Chinese. Thankfully, Chinese is one of the two languages that Geo has learned during school! So he can understand the street signs and some of the phrases that we have heard. Geo has been reading about China all morning (he is SO excited to be here). He just told me that four HUGE inventions were invented in China - paper, gunpowder, the compass, and printing. They also invented the wheelbarrow. Holy Idaho! I wonder what type of printing? Do you think they mean books, or newspapers, or something different? Also, did you know that "China" includes more than just the mainland of China? I bet you did know that. Remember we visited one of the Special Administrative Regions (SARS) of China - Hong Kong. We also learned about the other SAR (Macau). The Chinese government also says it controls Taiwan, but the people of Taiwan have formed a separate government. It all sound very complicated.


The climate of China is extremely diverse, like the U.S. The extreme south is mainly tropical. The winters are mild and the summers are very hot. The central part of China has a temperate climate. Do you remember what temperate means? The northern part of the country (where Beijing is located) is subarctic. A subarctic climate has comfortable summer months (never too hot), and extremely frigid winters. They are so cold that the encyclopedia said the winter in Beijing is of "Arctic severity." I guess that means VERY COLD!! Holy Idaho! This country has some wild natural hazards. The country averages five typhoons per year. Do you remember what a typhoon is? The country also has earthquakes, tsunamis, damaging floods, droughts, and land subsidence. Do you know what land subsidence means? I didn't, so I asked Geo to look it up. He explained that a land subsidence occurs because of the lowering of a portion of the Earth's crust. When the waters get lower, new land areas appear. So, I guess China has some "new" land areas because of the surrounding seas loosing water and becoming shallower. Whew - that is a little confusing! I guess it's kind of like land shifting and reshaping itself.


Most of China's arable land is near the country's two largest rivers (Huang He and Yangtze). About 15% of China's land is arable. I bet you remember what arable means - right? Some products grown on the arable land of China include rice (I knew that), corn, potatoes, wheat, peanuts, tea, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed, millet, and many other agricultural products. China has many rivers, most of which flow into the Pacific Ocean. This country has a ton of different types of landforms. They have mountains, deserts, hills, high plateaus, plains, deltas, and more! It might be fun to look and compare the landforms in China with the ones back in the U.S.


China has numerous natural resources. In fact, they have the world's largest hydropower potential. Do you think the United States uses hydropower at all? China also has tungsten, zinc, uranium, lead, aluminum, coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, and magnetite. Holy Idaho! China is RICH in natural resources. Geo says they are buying up a lot of oil from the Middle East though, because they don't produce as much as they need. I'll have to look up where the Middle East is again.


We are unpacking right now. Then we plan to grab some breakfast on our way to Veritas Resources . Thankfully we know that it is on Wusi (near the Jinghsan Park). Our hotel is on also on Wusi near the National Art Museum, we asked for your help to figure out how to get from our hotel to Veritas Resources . You directed us to head WEST. You are excellent map readers! The directions that you provided should get us to Veritas Resources quickly. Thanks for your help. We will update our blog when we return.


PS - No news about the cell phones, we still have NO IDEA which phone is ours!

     - Meri


This picture shows the East China Sea. Isn't it amazing!


Here is a picture of a hut found in China. We didn't actually see any of these around Beijing. Can you imagine living in that house? Holy Idaho!


This is a decorative hanging lantern. It is across the street from our hotel. We saw several of these outdoor decorations during our drive from the airport to our hotel.

 

Street map of Beijing

 

NewsRound - China
Click here to learn more about China. Learn more about pandas, the 2008 Olympics, Chinese landmarks, and more.


Friday

Well, we tried the "honest" approach yesterday at Veritas International . We went into the front desk and we asked to speak to someone regarding their animal training program. The receptionist asked us if we had an appointment. We told her no, but we would like to make one. So, she has us scheduled for Monday morning at 7:00am. Meri isn't happy about the early meeting time (let's just say that she is NOT a morning person). But she knows how important this meeting could be to our mission of finding Dewey, the truth-sniffing dog.


While we were out walking today, we saw a lot of signs about the 2008 Summer Olympics. Did you know they were held in Beijing! I wish we would have been here during the Olympics. That was the first time that the Olympics had ever been held in China. We included links at the end of our blog, about the 2008 Summer Olympics.


Today we went to see the Great Wall of China (we attached some new pictures). There are some beautiful parts of the wall north of Beijing that serve as tourist attractions nowadays. The Great Wall of China is over 4,000 miles long. That is longer than if you drove from New York to California (the entire width of the United States). That is one LONG wall. In fact, it is the longest man-made structure in the world. The wall crosses rivers, goes across deserts, and even goes up over mountains. It was built over 2,000 years ago! The wall is made of rocks, masonry, and packed earth. See the links we attached to this blog entry for more information about this incredible structure.

     - Geo


Here is the picture of the Great Wall of China that we saw online.


Another picture we took of the Great Wall of China.


The Great Wall of China - amazing!!

 

Great Wall
This website provides information about the Great Wall of China (and more pictures).

 

Travel for Kids
This website provides information about the Great Wall of China, books about the Great Wall of China, lots of pictures, and more.

 

Beijing 2008
Learn more about the 2008 Olympics (and the various sports) by visiting this website.


Friday Night

Text Message From Pandora: RUOK, No news this week?


Text Message to Pandora: Holy Idaho! We are gr8! In China


Holy Idaho! You know what this means? We finally figured out which phone is ours! We still lost our address book, but we can get most of the information off of the Internet and restore it on our phone. Who would have thought that our pesky (younger) sister, Pandora, would be the one who helped us figure out which phone was ours! We are really lucky that she sent us the text message.


Holy Idaho! You won't believe what just happened. Geo just heard the OTHER phone beep - we got a text message in Chinese. It must be our lucky day, since Geo knows a lot of Chinese from taking a few years of Chinese in school. The message translated to the following,


German shepherd training has been moved to Moscow, starting next Monday. Dogs will be shipped over the weekend. Please follow confidentiality code. More information to follow.


WHAT!!!! We immediately called Uncle GT on our cell phone and told him about the odd text message. He had us end our phone call on our cell phone, and try to call him back on the "extra" cell phone. So, we did what Uncle GT asked. Uncle GT has a detailed caller identification system through the U.S. government. So, when we called him - he realized that our "extra" phone belonged to Veritas Resources . We were so confused. Why would we have found a phone from the company in the garbage? There are so many unanswered questions. But, one thing is certain - Uncle GT wants us to head to Moscow, Russia. Uncle GT is pretty sure that Dewey would be one of the dogs being moved to the Moscow headquarters. Holy Idaho! I wonder if the company realized we were in China? Uncle GT booked us on a flight to Moscow for Sunday night. At least we have two more days to explore China. Uncle GT told us exactly where the company headquarters is located in Moscow. So since we have 2-days left in China, where do you think we should explore next? See the attached link and help us decide where we should explore. We have chosen our "top 3" destinations - The Forbidden City, Li River, and Yellow Mountain. We will only have time to travel to one location, which one should we choose?

     - Meri


This picture shows a Buddhist Temple in China. Buddhism is one of the religions that some Chinese practice.


The Forbidden City


Li River - isn't it beautiful!
See the map

 

China Travel Tour Guide
Take a look at this website, and read about the Li River, the Forbidden City, and Yellow Mountain. Which one do you think we should visit tomorrow?

Tell Geo and Meri what to do:

- Should we visit the Forbidden City, and see the beautiful palaces?

- Should we visit Li River, and see the breathtaking landscape?

- Should we visit Yellow Mountain, and see the cloud sea, hot spring, pine, and stone?



 

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