My time at the panda center is coming to a close. I have been here four days now and I will say it has been a pretty amazing experience. The highlight of my trip was probably when I was taking pictures for a girl and a one and a half year old panda crawled up onto my lap and tried to bite my arm. They are so playful. My time at the breeding center was pretty cool as well. Cleaning panda cages is not glamorous, but it is part of the experience. After the cleaning, we would feed them and they all have such different personalities. The male panda breaths very heavy out his nose as he eats. Another grunts, and my favorite one would pause for about three seconds, then go back to eating. After she was done eating, she would suck her teeth, and lick her lips. It was incredibly cute. I will let all the videos and pictures speak for themselves.  I’ll be editing all day tomorrow.

The downside to being here are the rooms. For some reason, they are really damp and set off my mold allergy. I’ll live, but it has been a congested few days for me. Last night a few of us went into Ya’an, the closest city, and got rooms at a hotel. It was a far cry from what we had at the panda center. The place was amazing by US standards and it cost less than $30 for two people. Dinner was interesting. We had our new friend from Hawaii with us, Margaret. She has parents that were born in Taiwan and she speaks Chinese fairly well. We went to a restaurant and ordered a fair amount of food.  In reality, we didn’t get it all. Basically, through translation issues, communication broke down and the waitress got confused apparently. About half that was ordered came out.

This morning we woke up and got a semi Western style breakfast. It was good, but our taxi arrived before I had finished eating. Typical American, ordering too much food and leaving half of it! I look forward to everyone seeing the pictures from here. Some unedited shots are posted on my flickr account.

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

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