26 May 2012

Dalu Village

We visited the ancient Dalu Village, a few hours away through rice fields and wandering water buffalo and pigs.
Dalu was built in the 16th Century, Qing Dynasty, as the ancestral home of the Lao Clan. It has good feng shui - including water in front, 300 year old banyan trees in the back, and perfectly laid out rooms. 
The Village is known for couplets on either side of all the doors, renewed each new year.
Grandmother and grandson. It's not unusual for grandparents to raise their grandchildren while the parents go out to work.
The bat (in brown) is a popular symbol on buildings, as the word for bat and the word for good luck have the same sound, fu.
 Local worker taking a break with his home-made water pipe.
 The Village Clinic (Does the satellite dish indicate telemedicine?).
We had lunch at a local farm house. The wood chip-fired stove had a huge wok, and the cook producted an incredible meal ...
 ... green bean soup, corn and pork, bitter melon, pumpkin, pumpkin flower soup, eggs/greens, picked cucumbers, and fresh duck and chicken).
 We dined el fresca and then took pictures with our gracious hosts.
Dessert was freshly picked lychees.

20 May 2012

Port and Nanning

The week highlights were a visit to the Guangxi Qinzhou Free Trade Port and the provincial capital, Nanning.
The coastal area of Guangxi is slated as China's southwest import/export port.
Complete with model and speeches, the port will focus on vehicle import/export, imported wine/spirits, crude oil storage and trade, nonferrous metals, seafood, and agricultural products.
An agreement was signed between the Port Authority and the University; we were present as the foreign guests. After pictures and gift exchange, we were treated to a celebratory dinner.
We headed off to the provincial capital of Nanning for the weekend to meet up with our Amity colleagues.
Lena (Swedish) and Connie (American) have taught in China 15+ years and are moving from the south to the north of China this summer.
 We checked out the Science and Technology Museum, complete with robotic band.
And of course Daniel celebrated the WC of Man.

12 May 2012

On Campus

We're over half way through the semester and realized we hadn't shown you the campus - so here it is.
 Statue on campus of Chinese educator with English teachers.
 Campus map -- 10,000 students.
Various traditional exercises are always in practice - this one with swords. They compete with the ever popular table tennis and basketball.
 Ceramics Department teacher Mr. Wang and his newest customers.
 High humidity + no A/C = streams of mold in various shades of green.
 Geography students practicing their craft.
Getting ready to enter the world of work!

05 May 2012

May Day

Labor Day, May 1st ("5.1" on the sign), is a big holiday here so we visited the scenic part of our province of Guangxi.
 Guilin takes its place among the aristocracy of China's top sights with its ...
... greenery and Osmanthus trees. Seven Stars Park was opened to sightseers as far back as the Sui dynasty.
 One of the highlights is the Dark Dragon Cave, ...
... full of stalagmites and stalactites colored by floodlights -- see the rabbit?
A highlight was the boat trip down the Li River amidst the karst limestone mountains ...
 ... so famous that it's on the currency.
 We passed up the bamboo rafts in favor of a larger boat.
 Yangshuo is swamped with tourists, from an artist sketching the scenery ...
 ... to West Street (imagine Bourbon Street without the raunch and hurricanes).
So lots of flavor for a great get-away.