The trip of a lifetime

I’m finally back in beautiful, sunny Denver after one last week in Guangzhou, in the tropical southern part of China.

The highlight of my last week was a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, the largest electrical generator in the world.  I was awestruck by the sight of it, this thing that I have been reading and learning about for years.  It is hard for me to even describe.  The giant massive concrete structure holding back this gushing force of water seems as if it had always been part of the landscape.  Yet upstream it is contrasted with three beautiful massive gorges of its namesake, lush green cliffs of stillness and seemingly unchanged by the scale of the unnaturalness below.  And as much as I wanted to hate it, I couldn’t help but be amazed by it and its power.  I am still process the experience of being next to the dam and hope to have a clearer sense of my thinking and emotions in the future.

The size of the Three Gorges Dam is awe-inspiring.

The reservoir side of the Three Gorges Dam. The pile in the bottom-right corner of this picture is all trash from cities upstream!

As for now, I’m happy to be back with my ELK family again.  I’m sad to have to leave my new eighteen friends from China and the U.S., but know we have created lifelong friendships that transcend the distances between us.

The greatest lesson on this trip was, for me, of this friendship and what it can mean to overcome cultural barriers. Before this trip, China was one big mass of a country and of a political force.  Now, I have been turned on my head of this idea, not because of the lectures and meetings I attended, but by each and ever person that I met and got to know as individuals regardless of nationality.  These new friends are working for a cleaner environment and more just world, and I know that our global efforts will make a big difference.

On the Great Wall of China

To see a slideshow of China’s environment, visit: