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Heading South

(China Daily)

11:20, June 02, 2013

The last sunset before leaving Antarctica, photo taken on March 10, 2013. [Photo Provided to China Daily]

Su Liu's adventure in Antarctica was her childhood dream come true. The Hong Kong-based specialist in water management shares her Mothers for Mother Nature campaign with Rebecca Lo.

When Su Liu was a girl growing up in Kunming, Yunnan, in the early 1980s, she was fascinated by the images of China's elite explorers venturing into the Antarctic.

"Only men who were very fit - iron men - were given a chance to go," she recalls. "It was considered a big deal. To a teenage girl like me, it was like they were going to outer space. Their journey was beyond what ordinary people like me could achieve."

Liu, now a mother of two boys and the head of Greater China and Water Policy Research for Hong Kong-based Civic Exchange, has always been attracted to extremes. "The tallest mountain, the deepest space. Well, I knew I probably won't be able to go to the moon. But maybe Antarctica wasn't so far-fetched."

She knew that the passage would be her litmus test.

Would she be able to survive the motion sickness common during a journey to the South Pole? When she studied in Hobart, she grabbed the opportunity to meet her heroes and spoke to members of the Chinese exploration team who ventured into Antarctica.

"The team members were all young and fit and handsome," she recalls. "They were hand selected but still had to undergo intense training. One told me that to be an Antarctic explorer, you needed an iron stomach. Literally, you should be able to eat your rice with one hand while reaching for a bucket to vomit into with the other."

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