Translations, Wetlands, and Beer, oh my! Weeks 2-4 at Roots & Shoots

Now, I will update you as to my work at the NGO. In the past 3 weeks, I have done a lot. Let me break this posting into three sections: translations and office work, the wetlands field trip, and another beer festival.

Translation and Office work:

Concerning office work, where do I start? Since I have bilingual capabilities, I have been delegated lots of responsibility. My finished my first main translating task of the Clear Water Project’s English news briefing articles (from Chinese to English, not the other way). I have also finished (as of recently) translating a document on the flora and fauna of wetlands. Both of these will be posted on the project’s new webpage, that will be more interactive, since this project is new and in its test pilot year. I have also not quite finished translating the Organic Grow’s webpage’s background section, because it is quite detailed on farming techniques, and has been made a back burner project. I also translate small tidbits here and there that some of the staff have asked, or advice how to say things in English. This is sort of what the board can look like while I translate:


This is what the white board looks like when I am translating a document. This is just maybe two paragraphs on the agriculture website. Lots of the words and documents have such specialized words, that I like to know most of the words, and then my translation can be liked putting pieces of a puzzle together.

Other than that, I have started researching and work on the shark fin brochure with another Chinese intern. We sort of have been working off a previous document, editing some parts to be more mainland centric. This pamphlet will be bilingual with simplified, so I have been writing some parts, while she writes the other in Chinese. Next week, we will assemble both into one long document, and then after comments, we hope to get the entire thing translated to be two separate documents, hopefully before July 12th. But, I think we can do it. The goal is before August, before the school season starts. We already are strong with our no shark-fin soup pledge campaign at schools, but the hope is to take that next step by getting companies on board as well as consumers. Some companies do have shark-free policies, but it is hard when there are many people in China, and it is a traditional wedding food at Chinese weddings. Hopefully, this helps to continue the dialogue Yao Ming and others have done with an organization called Wildaid. For those unfamiliar, you can learn more at:

Wetlands Field Trip

On Saturday June 15, I woke up early, with a Clear Water t-shirt, and lots of water, to go with different Roots & Shoots groups from throughout Beijing to a nearby wetlands park, the Wild Duck Lake National Park in Yanqing County, Beijing. While it was buggy and warm, it was nice to be outside of the city proper, and interact more with nature. We saw lots of ducks, reeds, cattails, geese, willows, poplars, and some plants I wish I knew what they were. After a long day of students somewhat listening, but not really because of the heat and many mosquitos, we drove the 2 hours back to Beijing. I was a little disappointed, because the promotional video I had watched about the lake was more beautiful than the place I visited.

However, I understand more about wetlands probably more from preparing translations for this program, and how they are the Earth’s kidneys, because of filtration, so we need them more than we realize. The rate we are destroying places like this is crazy, because of just pollution, or land conversion. We need to realize that without places like the Wild Duck Lake, cities like Beijing and its citizens would not really be around.

At Wild Duck Lake National Park on a field trip for the Clear Water Education Project.

At Wild Duck Lake National Park on a field trip for the Clear Water Education Project.

Wild Duck Lake National Park, at Yanqing County, Beijing. Although it is hard to see in the background, there are wind turbines here in China, just scattered in certain areas.

Wild Duck Lake National Park, at Yanqing County, Beijing. Although it is hard to see in the background, there are wind turbines here in China, just scattered in certain areas.

Beer, take 2

Yup, I did say beer again. But, before I get to the beer festival, I want to describe a small happening first. A few of us at the office went to a nearby bar after Friday for a couple of drinks and to hang out. Earlier in May, this bar had participated in a block-party’s chili cookoff, and had raised money they were going to donate to us at Roots & Shoots. So, we got together to hang out and to receive the donation check.


Aura (Roots & Shoots staff) , Nina, Eve (another intern), Lei (Roots & Shoots Executive Director), and the two men who run Plan B, the Canadian Bar who donated this check for around $1400 USD.

But, yes, now to the beer part of this posting (not that I drink or like to drink beer). Beijing had its Second Annual Craft Beer Festival, and gave us a booth so we could sell some of our merchandise, as well as get pledges for our “No-shark fin Campaign.” On Friday, we managed to get over 83 pledges. But, because Saturday morning was raining and gross,  we only got maybe 40 pledges (also, because we shared the tent with a popsicle and juice vendor), and we raised a total of about 700 RMB. Once again, everybody liked the hats, and wanted to take pictures, and they helped us gain attention.


Heather (Roots & Shoots volunteer), Nina, and Zach (Roots & Shoots volunteer) at the Craft Beer Festival in Chaoyangmen, Beijing.

So, I think this is my list of assignments for the next week:

1. Finish outline of Half-year report for Clear Water Project. I already got started, but will get some kinks worked out on Monday with this program’s interns and head staff (as she comes back from a business trip).

2. Finish research and try to compile the rough running draft of the “No-shark fin project company” brochure.

3. If these don’t take all my free time and I have free time at work, get back to translating the Organic Grow’s Background section (I have one more big tab on seeding, which might go quicker, just maybe).

And this is just my list in case nothing comes up. But, at an NGO, something always comes up. This week, it was everybody’s last day, so lots of pictures together.


This was a fellow intern’s last day. This is in the Jane Goodall Institute China’s office, right next to my office, called the meeting room.

But hopefully, I can accomplish the above three things in the next two weeks so I can feel like I got something done this summer. And then maybe, teacher training in the next couple of weeks? Like I said, I stay flexible, so when I get assigned new projects, my priorities jumble so I stay on top of things. That’s it for now. Zaijian!


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