26 February 2012

Winter in the Tropics

Before classes started we took a trip to Kunming, Yunnan, which lived up to its reputation as China's "eternal spring city."Surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, Kunming has embraced the spirit of modernization and is beginning to look like many of China's other mega cities.
One remaining gem is Yuantong Si, a large Buddhist complex from the Qing dynasty. The dragon sculptures are a gift from the king of Thailand ...
and are a big attraction for pilgrims.
A group of women from one of the minority groups; their dress is less colorful since they're married.

The premier natural wonder is Shilin, the Stone Forest, an exposed bed of limestone spires.

We, like these girls, wonder what the future holds for China.
A change in the weather caused us to shorten our holiday. But it all worked out in the end.

20 February 2012

Back in China

Well, we're back in China. While we're in the tropical south, the winter is cool and damp although with no central heat it feels more like cold and wet. 
 We live on campus, and we're in the top right apartment.
 We arrived during the Chinese New Year, so our apartment door is colorfully decorated for this year of the dragon.
 We wake up to the sound of roosters. Chickens are everywhere, from this one in the courtyard to the ones who live on our roof.
Food vendors are busy outside the campus gate but always have time to visit with an old friend. 
 And we're back in the classroom.