• 04Sep

    Let’s see… within the last 3 weeks I’ve been to…

    DONGCHUAN- I took a trip with Ruth to visit her family.  We went on Saturday morning and came back Tuesday afternoon.  It was  a quick trip but it was fun to get to see them all again.  There wasn’t any crazy pig killings or anything, but I did get to bring little WeiWei a TON of gifts.  I felt a little like Santa Claus.  She got 3 new outfits, 2 Duplo sets, a wooden block set and some chalk.  It was the first time since I’ve been at their house that it actually felt like a child lived in that house.  We had blocks all over the floor in the living room and the ground in the “courtyard” was covered with chalk drawings.

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    Here is WeiWei and one of her new outfits and her new toys!

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    My cousin Jona made these bows and WeiWei loved them!  Especially the one with the peppers.

    The ride to her village was pretty exciting.  Once we arrived at the bus station in DongChuan, we had to arrange transportation to her village (which is around 60 kilometers from the bus station).  We found 2 motorcycle guys to take us and all our stuff.  About 10 minutes from the road that goes up the mountain, my driver all of sudden kicked me hard and came to a quick halt.  I had no idea what was going on, other than the fact that we basically stopped in the middle of the road.  After about 2 minutes of sitting there in the middle of the road, he told me to get off the bike.  After getting off the bike I discovered the problem.  A flat front tire.  Ruth and her driver were in front of us so when it all happened they didn’t know.  We called them and they came and found us (Ruth later told me that she had to argue with her driver to let her come with him, she didn’t want me to be alone with limited language!).  Now this road is kinda like a road that you’d take to go to the mountains to camp.  There are a few “towns” here and there but when you’re between towns, you’re really kinda stuck.  Plus there’s no AAA in China.  So it was a bit of a conundrum.  My driver told Ruth’s driver to take the two of us on his bike. But Ruth’s driver said that he didn’t think he was skilled enough to take 2 people on his bike plus our stuff.  So my driver told Ruth’s driver, that he would take us on Ruth’s driver’s bike and that driver could help him find a place to fix his tire.  I wish I could have taken a picture of all of us on the bike.  The driver was practically sitting on the fuel tank and Ruth was smashed between the two of us while basically sitting on my lap because there just wasn’t enough sitting room.  It would have been not that big of a problem if we didn’t have to go UP the mountain on a dirt road.  So bounce bounce bounce for 30 minutes!  A funny sight indeed.  We all made it safe up the mountain!  The driver was really really nice.  He just kept on apologizing for the inconvenience!

    FUN OBSERVATION #2:  While at the Kunming Bus Station I saw the 6 fingered woman!!  I wish it could have been convenient to take a picture of her!  Or I wish I could have a camera in my eyes or something.  So if anyone is looking for the 6 fingered woman who killed your father (or maybe mother)…

    DALI- At one of the retreats I asked an Australian friend in passing what she’d want from America when I came back.  She quickly replied that she wanted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!  So while I was in the states I picked her up a wide variety of them,from the snack size, regulars and I threw some Reese’s Pieces too.  So I made the 5 hour bus ride up there to drop them off and hang out with her a bit.  I just spent Friday through Sunday up there.  It was a quick trip but we had fun just talking.  We did make a trip to the Dali Bird and Flower Market.  She wanted to pick up some sunflowers and herbs for her garden.  After arriving at the market we discovered that apparently the “Flower” part of the market means house plants and house plants only.  We asked a lady where we could find what we wanted and she responded, “what?! why would we have that here?  Do you know how hard it is to grow those?  We don’t have that kind of thing here…” and a bunch of other stuff I couldn’t understand!

    CHENGDU- The capital of the Sichuan Province, mostly famous for the big earthquake quite a few years back, was my next stop.  Lucy and I needed to make a stop to the US Consulate office to apply for her visa so that she might be able to come to the US this year for Christmas.  We have spent the last 6 months preparing for this trip, with the last few weeks being a little stressed to make sure that we had all of our papers in order.  She had her “interview” on Thursday.  And after asking just 3 questions and not even looking at ANY of the documents that we had prepared, the officer person denied her request.  All hope is not lost though.  I was informed that I can petition on her behalf for reconsideration via email.  So hopefully what couldn’t be done in person can be accomplished by email.

    Most of our time in ChengDu was waiting for our appointment times and trying not to sweat too much (the humidity there equalled the humidity levels of Florida in July!).  So we found whatever air conditioned places we could (which included waiting at the airport for 5 hours… simply because there was nowhere else we could think of sure to have A/C!).

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    Here we are wasting time playing some cards on the airport floor.  Apparently this airport doesn’t have chairs for you to sit in, rather annoying.

    The next trip is a big one for me!  I will be moving this Thursday down to Wenshan.  This will be the actual MOVING moving date.  All the rest of my things (which is mostly just clothes) and I will head down a start our new life down there.  There will be a lot of work to do once I’m down there, so the hope is to get a few good days of rest in before I journey down!

    How about another fun picture… only this one comes from the US where apparently spelling is also a problem, unless I really ate a Sour Doug!!!  Just for your information a “Sour Doug” tastes a whole lot like a Tuna Melt.

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    That’s all for now!  Next post should be coming to you from Wenshan!!

    Lup

   

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