13 January 2013

New year, new road

We took a week-long vacation in Hong Kong to start the new year before returning to Qinzhou for final exams. Our apartment balcony overlooks a village road just outside the campus wall, and we were surprised to see it being paved with concrete. A new road for a new year, as we set out on the road, leaving China on January 20 for Houston and beyond in 2013, so this blog will go into hibernation.
We wondered what the workers were doing on the road when we got back from Hong Kong, and the next day it was clear what was happening as the cement mixer trucks crept along surfacing the road. In a few hours they finished the part we see from our balcony. The adjoining irrigation canal is also being walled with cement blocks. Suddenly the view we've had for months is changed.
Hong Kong is not like the rest of China, more like part of Europe. We stayed in Central Hong Kong, and could just pull our suitcases along the elevated walkway to our hotel after we took the express train from the airport -- more convenient than almost any city we've visited. One buys a prepaid card for all the public transit, including the Star Ferry that crosses the harbor, also a short walk from our hotel.
Controversy over Falun Gong is openly expressed in Hong Kong. These banners were in the ferry terminal.
We returned to Tao Fong Shan where we stayed two years ago, a 45 minute commute on metro rail. It was so nice to go to a real church service -- we even went twice on Epiphany, in the morning to the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist  and Taize in the evening at Tao Fong Shan.
We walked through the Christian cemetery at Tao Fong Shan and noticed this headstone of Anna M. Martinson who lived to be 100 years old. One wonders what brought her to Hong Kong, and what kept her there "Awaiting the Resurrection".
We hiked part of the Hong Kong Trail with beautiful weather, 8.5 km including a mountain ridge called Dragon's Back, where we overlooked the ocean on both sides of the peninsula.
Dim Sum for Sunday brunch, at Maxim's in the City Hall building.
Nan Lian Garden is a peaceful escape from city, nestled among the high rise buildings of Kowloon.
Just two more weeks in Qinzhou, and the desk where I've worked up lesson plans and spent many hours on the Internet over the past year -- a place we'll always remember. But as we set out on our new road the blog will take a rest.