"Logorrhea" is a word a learned in grad school that means a tendency to let your mouth run over with words, to a clinical degree. I'm also throwing in "photorrhea" because I just uploaded 33 photos to this post. I was thinking about how I wanted to blog my trip to visit my student in southern China, and today I had the brilliant idea of stuffing the whole four days into one post.
If you hate this idea, leave now. (Or read it in chunks.)
Rita (on the right) was my student last year and was one of the first students to seek me out, as we see in this September 2009 photo. She and Jessie gave me my Chinese name and have both become good friends and sisters. Since I had extra time at the end of the semester, I decided to go visit Rita at her home.
|Jiangxi, Rita's home province|
She lives in a fairly small town, Wanzai, in the northwest part of the province. It's surrounded by green mountains and tea fields.
I arrived at the train station in a nearby town, was met by Rita, and we went back to Wanzai. On Day One we:
Visited her family's solar water heater shop:
|Brother playing computer games; mom making lunch in the shop's kitchen|
|Mom, Dad, & Rita with our first meal|
Went to Bamboo Mountain Cave:
|The mystical beauty was marred only by the droning of the tour guide|
Went to the town hangout (the supermarket) and took a look at this temple behind it:
Visited Rita's former high school:
|The campus was huge, and all students boarded even if they were local because they had no time for the 10 minute commute to and from home.|
|Rita's former classroom. Only 20 students in this one instead of the usual 60, because she was in an elite class.|
|Rita and her brother in front of her former classroom|
On Day Two we woke up at 4:45 to bike to Rita's driving school. Later, since Wanzai people always eat breakfast out, we went to a little restaurant for some soup dumplings:
Rita's dad drove us to the reservoir for a full day of fishing:
|Rita's mom throwing homemade bait to attract the fish: wheat flour, corn flour, honey, and alcohol|
|Rita's mom, in her awesome anti-sun fishing outfit|
|With Rita's cousin, who occasionally spoke some English with me (the only one besides Rita and another young friend)|
|Fishers enjoying a picnic|
|Back at the shop, after mom cleaned the fish.|
On Day Two we also went to a nice restaurant where various family and friends appeared for a tasty supper together, after which the young people and I went out to look at the shiny (tacky?) flashing ornament that had just been installed on top of a large hill.
On Day Three I begged off waking up early for driving school, so Rita skipped too and we both slept in before heading off to get breakfast. I snapped some pictures of their house:
|Rita's house, straight ahead.|
|Looking back at the long, narrow entrance to the house. Bathroom on the right.|
|Rita's dad is a handyman when not selling water heaters.|
Then Rita's mom's friend drove us all out for another day of adventure, including...
Picking corn at this organic farm:
Then, rafting down this river (my favorite activity of the trip). The scenery was beautiful, and Rita and I had a raft to ourselves to maneuver as we wish, including getting stuck on lots of rocks.
|Love this picture of Rita's family (and friend) at the rafting place. Her little brother was bribed to be in it the photo, but maybe he needed to be bribed a little harder.|
Rita had planned to take me to the nearby Meng mountain on Day Four, but it would have meant waking up very early and hiking for six hours on tired legs, and then rushing me off to the train station. So I asked to just rest instead, and she took me to a local park.
We wandered off into a nearby village:
|Typical countryside architecture|
|We spotted this house across the stream and Rita wanted to take a closer look because it's just like her grandmother's house in the mountains.|
Then we went to visit Aunt #2 at her house:
|Working on a cross-stitch bigger than the bed|
I had earlier made an off-hand remark that I like hot pot, so Rita's mother took it to heart and prepared hot pot for our final meal:
Then Rita's mom sent us home for a nap before her friend drove us to nearby YiChun for me to catch my train.
It was a full and happy trip, filled with lots of new experiences and some fun times with my friend.