First week of our fellowships in Guilford County, North Carolina is full of interesting activities that are well organised and arranged by our host. It was a lot of traveling and meeting new people, listening as well as introducing, but above all, I have great experience so far.
We visited High Point Market (HPM), which is the world’s largest home furnishing trade show, held twice a year in April and October in City of High Point (North Carolina). It is estimated that 75,000 people come to the market and the market brought the total revenue of $7.6 billion dollars for the State. City of High Point is historically famous by its furniture manufacturing. We had chance to listen to Directors of operation and Director of Customer experience of the HPM tell about how they’ve been managing and organising everything for this large market, from the traffic, parking places to the hospitality facilities, etc. It’s really mesmerizing seeing beautiful and luxury decorations in their showrooms, but photography is not allowed unfortunately.
We also went to the Material Recovery Facility of Hight Point, it’s a factory where all the recycle bins will be collected and sorted to differeny recyclable materials. To go inside the factory and see how difficult this work is, I understand more and tell mysefl have to be more responsible for the stuff I put into the bin. Even our hosts, they never been to this place, and after going inside and watching the whole process with the enthusiastic presentation of the factory director, they agreed that there should be more visits for schools, residents for educaional purpose.
There were two waste water treatment plant we have visited. The first one is Hight Point waste water treatment plan (the East side), this facility has been opreating since 2005, they treated approx. 26 million gallons of waster water (from all sources including house hold, commercial, industrial areas). Of course this plant is much larger than those in my province, but the principal flow of treatment is almost similar, and the difference is that all pee and poos from every house in here are not primarily treated through the self-abortive tank in each house like in my place. The monitoring and analysing on out put water quality are done 6 times per day by the factory operators, and the EPA has the regular inspection once a year to make sure everything is well operated. The second plant we visited is Thomas Z. Osborne, a facility for waste water treatment of City of Greensboro, which can treat 40 million gallons of sewage water everyday and is being upgraded to 56 MGD. This plant has an high tech control system that helps both the manager and operators easy to observe and well alarmed if there are any error occurs. Again, these visit has much educational meaning to all of us, we get to know about the whole thing that we might ( never) want to know after flush the toilet water. To better understand is to better action for the environment protection.
One of the most memorable thing we did last week is riding an airboat. City of Greensboro, NC has 3 man made lakes which supply drinking water to the city since the 1940s, and when we visited one of them, lake Brandt in a beautiful afternoon, the maintenance team from water resource management office gave us an unique chance to ride around this lake on an airboat, which are very thrilling and cool! Even Karen, our company from Budget and Evaluation office of City of Greensboro, said she never seen it since she came here for the rowing club every week. Yups, this boat is only used for work and doesn’t serve for commercial use. Therefore, we are so lucky to be their riders. It was fast, powerful and loudly (haha) but its amazing!