International Training Program
中文版 2022年7月3日
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My First Training Workshop in China
Tutut Retno Lestari

I arrived in Shanghai on my birthday (August 19, 2019). It was my first travel abroad and a very memorable birthday present for me. I came to attend the International Training Workshop on the Development and Management of the Botanical Gardens at the Chensan Shanghai Botanical Gardens.

It was one of the most fruitful days of my life. During this training workshop, we conducted learning activities in class, guided tours, field trips, visiting the best botanical gardens, historic city parks, natural history museums, and presenting ourselves in the Ethnobotany Show, We had other activities as well.

Many new things were added to our insight. All of the participants were engaged in the whole activities and mingled with each other. Of course, other participants and I shared our knowledge and ideas about botanic gardens. Also, we supported one another to build our capacity, expertise, networks, and professional skills in the development and management of Botanical Gardens, which is exactly the purpose of this training workshop.

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Then how was my story going through those twenty days in China? How did I feel when I first visited China, which was all strange for me? How I got meals as I am a Muslim who has some dietary laws? Yes, I will tell it.

Anyway, I went to China with another Indonesia participant. It was surprising; the person is my old friend who was also chosen as one of the participants in this workshop. Before my friend and I departed from our country, we were given enough guidance and information from the training workshop representatives about what we had to do first when we arrived in China. Yes, of course, this information is beneficial for other participants and me because China is a country that has an independent and different communication system, internet network from the rest of the world. We were told to immediately buy a new mobile number once we arrived in China to make it easier for us to communicate while in China. I did this quickly when I touched down at Pudong airport, Shanghai.

I was so excited and could not wait to see around. After I finished taking care of everything, I headed out of the airport, and we were welcomed and picked up by a driver sent by the organizing committee. Then my friend and I were escorted to the Liston hotel, Songjiang (Thamestown), where other participants and I stayed during the training workshop. Our residence is like a small city with complete and well-organized facilities. We dit not find it challenging to find our daily grocery store there, restaurants, art centers, and even laundry was also there, not far from the hotel.

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My friend and I were welcomed by the committee and registered, then were served lunch, accompanied by several volunteer friends at a restaurant. Now, this is special for me, a Muslim. The committee was very concerned about what meals we could/ couldn’t consume based on our beliefs. So, we were treated to lunch at a Muslim food restaurant near the hotel. The committee’s attention to the participants’ meal was always excellent throughout the training workshop, so I found no dietary trouble along my days in China. I like Chinese cuisine, and two I love most are lotus root and pickled jellyfish. Anyway, as long as other participants who are Muslim and I joined the training activities, they were always allowed to take pray by the committee.

Twenty days were quite long. Sometimes I found my self get bored or homesick. Fortunately, the organizing committee always prepared the activities schedule well to avoid it. Visit activities to the Natural History Museum, the Business Activity Centers on Nanjing Street and Bund and the Shanghai Tower conducted on the sidelines of the study schedule, were enough to make me and the participants able to get rid of boredom. Of course, the visit added my insight and other participants on the progress of China as a country with energetic economic activities, proper urban planning, preservation of cultural heritage, and a good history. I am very impressed.

And what I like the most, during the training workshop activities, other participants and I were always accompanied by very friendly volunteers. They always helped so that I did not feel difficulties, and were always eager to provide new information and experiences about China. In my spare time (holiday or no schedule), other participants and I were often invited to walk to enjoy the city and places of interest around the hotel where we lived, like visiting the old town and the traditional market, trying the public transportation mode (tram), taking a walk in the city park, and enjoying tea in a tea house. It was a very memorable experience for me and made me want to study again in China.


    
Sponsor:Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Science and Technoplogy PRC Maintenance:China Science & Technology Exchange Center Technical support:Intergrated Information System Research Center Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Science