Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Small Success!

This afternoon, I met up with Lily, who runs the ecotourism company Northwest Yunnan Ecotourism Association. When my family came here last year, when I first discovered Lijiang, Lily helped arrange our stay. (The pictures you see of a homestay were from last year—we stayed with Lily’s wonderful Naxi family.) With Lily was Laure, a French student interning at her company. Another foreigner staying for several months, instead of the 3 days most people spend! Laure gave me ideas of where to stay for cheap at Naxi-owned Guesthouses just on the skirts of Old Town, and provided offerings to practice my French (ahhh, in addition to my Chinese!)

Lily and I discussed what I was trying to do, so she could ask around trying to make connections for me. She added that while she herself was Naxi, she did not know too much about water's signficance to Dongba (Naxi religion). Still, even without this understanding, she knew how important it was to the Naxi in protecting their water's source. (I'm curious--How much does holding significance and actually working to preserve it--like I didn’t see at Black Dragon Pool, overlap?) So nice, Lily explained to me where Qingxi Reservoir was (remember my earlier wonderings?) Apparently, most of the snow to Lijiang comes from the Snow Mountain (Yulong Mountain’s Glaciers) to the Reservoir, then to Black Dragon Pool, then finally to the canals and pipes of Lijiang. “It’s a very bad thing," Lily said. "If the snow melts, Lijiang will be in danger." Again, I’ll have to make clear in my mind how much of Lijiang's water comes from an aquifer along Elephant Mountain (as my reading has told me), and how much is snowmelt from Yulong Mountain’s 18,000-ft high peaks. Oh how the difference in the hydrologic balance matters! (And as it were, the engineer in me shines forth.)

1 comment:

erica said...

Hey Lizzo!

If you have the time, it'd be really cool to do a small write-up of the Ecotourism organization for ResponsibleChina.com. Of course, I'd encourage you to link back to your personal blog. Hopefully it get more people to learn about the cool work you're doing! Glad you finally accessed Wordpress, by the way :)