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Students clean up Shizu Shan
Armed with gloves, trash bags and drinking water, students and faculty members of Sias International University collected garbage off Shizu Shan over Earth Day weekend. Twenty students and three teachers spent four hours hiking the ancestral mountain, picking up trash from top to bottom. Large trash bags were soon filled and near the breaking point as the groups scoured the main and off-beat trails. “It reminds us not to throw something in the way (of others) because it was hard to collect it,” student Cathy Wang said. “We can teach the future to pick it up.” The group left Sias International early Saturday (May 19) morning. They divided into three teams once they reached the ancient mountain, located 20 minutes outside of Xinzheng in the Henan Province. Two teams traversed the main route and one meandered on trails up the face of the mountain. The main group found standard garbage, papers and bottles, as well as some odd things like shoes, half a shirt and a broken glass globe. Their bags were so full they had to leave them in trash bins at the top of the mountain. “The hope is that when people see us picking up trash, they’ll say, ‘Whoa, someone has to pick that up,’ ” said Drew Tilson, a second-year instructor. “We want people to know that what they do affects others.” The group wandering through the wilderness found the most interesting trash: men’s underwear. In addition, they found a large burned area on the mountain where visitors had tried to burn their trash and left a bigger mess. “I learned to try my best to protect the environment and not hurt the environment,” sophomore student Michael Sun said. All of the students felt it was a meaningful morning on the mountain. They were able to enjoy the sunshine and help clean up a special place. Student Andy Chen, who had never been to the mountain before, was touched by the effort of students and foreigners. “It means a lot to me that (foreign teachers) would travel all this way and want to help clean my country,” he said. The foreign teachers had plenty of help from students Chen, Xie Dan, Kevin Huang, James Jia, Tracy Jiang, Kim Jin, Hannah Li, Jack Li, Nicole Li, Anna Liu, Melody Song, Sue Su, Sun, Tracy Tong, Wang, Shelly Xie, Bonnie Yang, Michelle You, Julian Yue and Sarah Zhao. The students were already talking about coming back again next year. They’re hoping to have more help.
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