As the course finished on March 6th, I want to write about 2 things and what I felt after finishing the course.
First I want to write about the forest museum, a course trip. On March 4th we went to the forest museum. It was not like a usual museum: the museum is the whole forest. Everything in the forest is preserved. All the trees looked really strong. Looking at their roots winding everywhere around and their breath pipe going straight down to the ground, I felt the power of the nature. The guide took us to walk around the museum. The way was really harder than I thought. We had to climb over the rocks and the trees. It was like an adventure, and I enjoyed it so much. But at the same time, I felt like a little scared. I thought I was just a tiny thing in the world and we can’t do anything in this wild nature. I was struck with awe and respect of the power of nature. I know it is needless to say repeatedly, but I thought once again that we are just a part of nature and we cannot oppose but should live together with nature. It was a good opportunity to notice it.
From March 3rd, we started to think about the final design of the PDC course. We could choose one place we wanted to design from three places. One design site was the whole village. The village mayor came to the classroom and explained to us what the problem is and what he wants to do. The second was a garden with a rental gate ball court. The third was a cultural center for the residents of the village and for tourists. I joined the team designing the gate ball court. The owner’s desire was to have his own house, a beautiful pond, a chicken house and a toilet for people who use the gate ball court. First, we observed the land and wrote down the characteristics of the land. For example, where is high and where is low, where does the water come from, and the direction of the sunshine and wind. Next we discussed about were to place each building. Every building has to have a reason to build it in the place. We used all of the knowledge we learned. It was quite a hard job to think about that. After designing the main map, we separated into each part and designed the concrete structure of each building. I helped designing the house. We had to think about many things, like how to gain water and electricity, and how to let the air go through the house and so on. The house has so many functions. It was difficult to think but I enjoyed designing it so much. On the last day, we made a presentation of our designs. I was the time keeper. Each team had 30 minutes for presentation and 20 minutes for feedbacks. As every team thought so hard, most of the team couldn’t finish the presentation in that time. I felt very sorry to have to limit everyone’s time. Each design was interesting. I especially liked the community center’s garden which was made in the shape of a lily and the path which was made like a snake. The lily and the snake are the symbols of the village. It would surely be a beautiful design if and when it becomes implemented, and I thought people of the village will be proud of it. Each design was sent to the village mayor. I hope some of the designs are helpful for the village.
Participating in the course for about a week, I thought about what I learned and how I have changed. Throughout the course, I experienced so many ”first times.” As I grew up in the city, I didn’t know what it is like to live beside nature, but now I can imagine that lifestyle. And through the process, I noticed how difficult it is to live in a self-sufficient way. To live by your own means, you have to think about how to use the land, how to collect water and generate electricity, how to deal with your garbage and so many other things. Now our life is so convenient because someone is doing all these things for us. We are just paying money. We can’t see the process of making electricity or we can’t see how the garbage we threw out is dealt with. I think that’s why we easily waste resources and don’t think about the environment. Living in the city, I couldn’t notice that. After understanding this, my behavior changed naturally. When I buy something, I began to choose things harmless to the earth and to be careful not to waste resources. This is a great change. Our teacher said “People are the most difficult thing to change.” I think so too. It is really difficult to change people’s behavior. But I think when we can understand how much we are acting selfishly, we can change. I was really lucky to have a chance to feel like this and talk with people who have the same ideal. I won’t forget the experience here and I will think what I can do for the earth when I go back to Japan.
And at last I really want to say thank you to all of the classmates. I couldn’t understand any Chinese but they always let me join the conversation and translated what they are talking about for me. It was so helpful for me. Be kind to nature and be kind to people. I want to be a person like this.