Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa and the reindeer

On Sunday we will be going to the local orphanage and bringing them some gifts that we know they are in need of. Kerrie and I found this Santa outfit for 20 RMB ($2.95) and had to get it. We thought it might be difficult to convince Brad to be Santa but he jumped right into the costume. He said it is really comfortable :-) So on Sunday Brad will be Santa to the children in the orphanage.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunrise on Yellow Mountain

Brad and I woke up and hiked to a peak to watch the sunrise (don't be too impressed we went back to bed after we saw the sun come up)! We were very lucky the hotel had down coats for us to wear. We wore those coats and two others and were still a little chilly. Yellow Mountain is the place many of the traditional Chinese painters choose to paint.

The Stairway to....

Hiking this mountain was a little different than what we are used to. The entire hike is stairs...straight up, straight down. You can see the mountainside we climbed down and then right back up on the other side. Needless to say our knees have not quite recovered yet.

Huangshan Mountain- Yellow Mountain

The Chinese have a saying: Once you have seen Huangshan Mountain there is no need to see any others. You can decide for yourself based on the various pictures from our two days of hiking around the mountain.

Climbing Mount Huangshan

This is our first day on Yellow Mountain. We met this couple on our bus ride to the mountain and spent the day hiking up the mountain with them. I think this picture was taken right after our "encounter" with some monkeys. Part of traveling in China is meeting people. We met this Chinese couple the first day and two gentlemen traveling from the Netherlands the next day. I don't know how we didn't end up with some pictures of them? It was a great time, there weren't as many people climbing the mountain because it was so cold. You can see the ice and snow. We were excited, especially since it has still been in the 60's here! The bottom picture is the hotel we stayed in at the city. It was a Ming dynasty replica and very clean and warm, with some awesome woodwork.

The Ink Factory

We were able to tour a factory that makes ink for traditional Chinese paintings in Huangshan City. It was great to see how they work with the ink in a solid mass. We both always thought that it was always in a liquid form. These little pieces are molding and then painted in with some gold paint. When you use it you press it into some water causing it to make ink.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving in China!!!

Thanksgiving in China, only one way to celebrate this true American holiday and that is with people. Just as the Indians and Pilgrims got together for a bid feast, we added more of an international mix with all the fixins’. We had Chinese and American people of course and Korean, French, and British people as well. Given this diversity and our delightful chief’s we had an awesome feast. No ovens in this part of China, so we used our small gas kiln as one. Stuffing, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, duck with turnips, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and roles were all baked. Vegetable soup, spiced wine, and fried chicken were also cooked to celebrate this holiday. About thirty friends and students came together and ate a fantastic feast. We were so grateful to have such awesome and generous cooks make this holiday feel like home. A huge thanks to them and their delicious food.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Rice Man

Brad and Sheng Jie went for a bike ride out to the country side to talk with some rice farmers about letting Brad use some ash from the rice husks. This farmer was nice enough to even burn the husks for him! This is his field and him working hard.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The "Ice King and Queen"...kind of...

Between NCECA and having to teach we had little time to prepare for Halloween. A party was on the schedule and many people were expecting one! So Kerrie (another English teacher) and I threw together a party over night. In between shopping for snacks and painting decorations we had little time to prepare a costume. Brad looked around and found bubble wrap, and so we made do with what we had becoming the "Ice King and Queen". Brad shaved his beard into a goatee (which I am trying to convince him to keep:-), we cut out quick crowns and painted jewels on them then wrapped bubble wrap around our bodies and called it a day. Not the best costumes ever but still a lot of fun.


Here we are on Halloween celebrating with some of our favorite friends. They are all good sports about this very strange holiday! Up top is our good friends who helped us to get here in the first place, and put up with us! In the middle is Brad with some friends including Hu Jun and Jiang ShengJie who have both spent time in America. Below Karlee and I are dancing with the cooks who always provide us with some good "home cooking" Chinese style.