As soon as the jet lag was over, I decided to take the most popular outdoor activity in Asheville, hiking. Funny enough, my observation says, in Asheville, North Carolina, hiking is what people do very often, it can be done before work, after work, or even a break from work because the closest trails could be 15 minutes away. As hiking is also my favourite thing to do, I would have to drive 3 to 6 hours to find a hiking trail back in Laos. I love it here.
I feel lucky to be able to stay with Emily, my host for this week. We had a vivid discussion on the cultural and economic scene in Asheville, and I had a chance to tell her stories about Laos. We come across something we have in common – we make amazing beer! (Please stay tuned to the upcoming blog if you want to hear more about brewery here).
We drove pass beautiful scenery, overlooking mountains and hiked through the woods, and it came to my mind that the forests here are quite protected! But the truth is way beyond what my eyes can reach. I learnt that Southern forests in the U.S. are under threats. Paper production and timber harvested to burn for bioenergy are the two major issues that Dogwood Alliance is working on. We are dealing with serious issues that harmed the environment and the local communities, and I am looking forward to get involved and learn more from what has being done to solve this issue.