Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

First Day in Lanqui


On Wednesday morning, I woke up to be greeted by a crowing rooster. I looked out my window and saw a bull in the field across from us. I saw a family of ducks walking in a line down a path. It was like something out of a country fairytale. The landscape here is very magical. The school is surrounded by hills covered with plush greenery and there are mountains in the distance. There are grape fields in the back of the school. The buildings here are tall and made out of brick and something that looks like tile.


In the afternoon, I was taken in a rickshaw to the marketplace, where I saw my first Chinese Buddhist temple. The temple was very beautiful; it had pillars with stone carvings of dragons. The ceilings were very high and colourfully decorated. There are statues of the Gods and Buddhist mythological creatures, such as a turtle and a crane. The altar was richly decorated with gold. Two of the statues, a boy and a girl had a lotus flower on their head, which you are to touch if you wish for prosperity. Across from the temple, there was a Chinese funeral, taking place; I am told that the place was not a special religious place, just a place of convenience for the local country folk. The stores here are all connected to each other with walls that divide them. There entrance way could be likened to a garage door. There are many shops on the side of the street. It is not like Canada where, merchandise is neatly organized and displayed. They just have items randomly strewn about the shop floor. I picked up some necessities with the help of my colleagues; all of the products were quite unfamiliar to me. I imagine that eventually, I will grow accustomed to the local goods. Next, we went to Mrs. Zhiaow’s mother's place to rest. Mrs. Zhiaow is one of the owners and a teacher that runs the school. There are many narrow dirt alleys that twist and turn though dimly lit areas that you have to walk down in order to get to her house. You have to walk though a very narrow dirt path to get to her house. The houses here are square and are made of brick. They look very poor on the outside but on the inside they are quite modern. They have air conditioners, TVs and computers. The temperature gets quite hot here (today it is 38 degrees).


After tea, I was taken to see the Ming River, it was too hot to venture outside, so we had to stay in the car and admire the scenery from a distance. After the beach, and lunch I had a rest in the comforts of Senior Mrs. Zhiaow’s air-conditioned house. Then, I returned to the school, where the heat was still quite ghastly. I was introduced to the students, whom I have been told are quite excited about having a foreign teacher. Many of the locals here have never seen a foreigner before. The students are quite shy but very respectful; I think that I will enjoy teaching them. In the evening, we had a Chinese supper outside, which consisted of bean curd soup; shrimp (heads attached) bell fish, and various Chinese vegetables. Everyone treats me very well; they are being very generous and are doing everything possible to make my stay comfortable. They have installed an air conditioner in my room and have purchased a water cooler in my room, so that I won't get dehydrated. Last night I had my first chance to truly appreciate what we have in Canada. I have discovered that there is not a washing machine or dryer. We have to hand wash our clothes, tonight; I had my first lesson in washing clothes by hand. I enjoyed the novelty of it, but I'm sure that is one of the chores, which I will dread in the future

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