Monday, April 01, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I’m still not adjusted to the 15 hour time change. Woke up and it was still dark. Went back to sleep but woke up again and it was still dark. Dan got up at 6am which woke me for the last time this morning.
Not sure if the day started with mist or smog. Whichever, it restricted the views.
Today we visited a ‘kindergarten.’ It is actually for children from three to six so is different from my concept of kindergarten. The kids were adorable (as they all are at that age). One little boy had done a drawing and wanted us to see. I took a look – it appears to be an apartment building with clouds above it. He started coloring it with his new crayons.
Someone had brought crayons for the class. Most of the kids didn’t know what to do with them. Same thing with the suckers. They were using them as drumsticks or just throwing them on the ground. They did not seem to realize they were candy on a stick.
Afterward, we walked to and through a farmer’s market. The fruit and vegetables were beautiful to see. Very colorful.
Next was a meat market. The meat looked good but it was open air and I’m sure flies were landing on the meat.
Back to the bus and then a stop at Mr. Mao’s home. He had been a farmer who chose to relocate in the city. He is in his early 70s. His home houses 20 people. It is three stories high with six “happy places” and I forget how many bedrooms (a lot). He was pleased to have a house with running water and a kitchen. He was able to have the house built to his specs. He also has a garden area where he can grow fruit and vegs for the household and to sell. There is a pond where he has fish. There is also a cement deck on the top floor which has two rectangular ponds and an area where people can sit and relax. It overlooks the river. He is alone during the day as everyone goes to work or school. His house is on a septic system. There is no built-in heating or cooling. They do have a tv and space heaters. When asked what else he might like, he said ‘a computer.’ His neighbor’s house is right next to his. The neighbor has pigs which put out a nasty odor. I saw no bath or shower facilities.
Looking at his home and realizing how much he doesn’t have and how happy he is with what he does have, helps me understand how much worse it must have been for him previously. My first thought about the relocation program was about how difficult it must be to start all over when you have lived in one location all your life. After visiting Mr. Mao, I have to change that. He is still near where his home used to be and he has a nicer house.
Our next stop was a trip back to our ship. The evening meal was the Captain’s Banquet so we were to dress up. Dan and I did not realize this so showed up in jeans and t-shirt. I went back to the cabin and changed so felt more ‘proper.’ Dan’s shirt was one of his nicer ones so he was fine.