The city was called the “Spring City” where it was mild year-round although we did encounter heavy snow—the first in one hundred years. Most trees on the streets were down. It was cold and no one had enough clothes. I had to buy a winter coat there for that week long winter. Local people were so excited. They all went out to take pictures and play in the snow. Most had never seen snow their whole life. Camera film was even sold out in the city temporarily.
|A once-in-a-hundred-years snowstorm in the Spring City, Kunming|
For youngsters to choose their future mates, sometimes they had huge singing competitions where young men and women were in separate groups and while they sang, they observed their possible choices. They asked questions and answered them in song.
We ate our three meals in the dining hall. Sometimes, we went out to have some local specials. Most memorable is the one place where dog soup was sold. I never had dog meat before. I never had any other meat except beef, pork, chicken, duck, and fish. I heard about people, who had tried cat, dog, bear, etc. We heard that dog meat would keep us warm since there was no heat and it was very cold because of the snow. So, I went along with my friends. Surprisingly, it was like an evening market crowded with people. We had to wait our turn. The soup was in very small bowls about the size of a coffee cup with two or three tiny pieces of meat and the soup sprinkled with cilantro on top. Surprisingly, it was good and the meat was lean. The soup was delicious. It did make us warm. We went back a few times. There were several traditions for eating exotic foods. I was not interested in eating those things though. Some ate silkworms. They said that they were highly nutritious. I just felt too sick too eat silkworms and snakes. I knew that most farmers refused to eat beef because cows were esteemed for their help. They were one of the family members.
|After relaxing in a hot spring called “The First Spring” (天下第一汤-安宁温泉) outside of Kunming|
Zou Bingwen (邹秉文) received his BA from Cornell University and PhD from the University of Michigan.
Hou X Y. (侯学煜) received his PhD in 1949 from Pennsylvania State University
Liu Shen-e (刘慎谔) received his PhD from Université de Lyon in 1929. He published his book "Trees of Northeast China" in 1955.
Hu Xian Su (胡先骕) received his BA from University of California Berkeley in 1916 and PhD from Harvard University in 1925. He started the first edition of Flora of China.
Chen Huan Yong/W. Y. Chun (陈焕镛) received his MS from Harvard and worked together with Hu Xian Su.
Qian Chong Shu (钱崇澍) studied in University of Illinois, University of Chicago, and Harvard University from 1910 to 1916. He finished Forests China in 1950.
After training, I went back to my institute and presented a seminar on my studies. I especially stated that many of us were still very proud of our ancestral heritage and historical achievements. I felt ashamed for not being able to do enough to stop destroying our environment. We were far behind in taking effective measures to protect our habitat for future generations. We needed to do something for our future generations to be proud as well. My seminar was well received and I had made myself known to everyone in the institute.