"Growing in Cuteness and Love"

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Lu Village in Guilin and more

What an amazing day we had in Guilin yesterday!  We started our day with a quick stop at an art museum and watched a local artist painting with Chinese ink painting.  Then our guide took us to a local farming village on the drive back.  That was definitely the highlight of my trip so far and also pretty intriguing for Scott.  The original family who lived in the village was named Lu and now there are 150 families (many still with the same name).  When we arrived we walked over a bridge where local men were catching baby carp for dinner (you should have seen the size of them...similar to what we would use for bait...Scott told me to mention that so that you fishing guys can put it in perspective).  As we walked along the ladies were washing their clothes in the same river (not the cleanest) which is also the place they wash their vegetables and meat.  The first thing our guide showed us was a big bill board of signs that were displayed on the side of an old building that apparently was the location of the village police (who doesn't stay in the village but could come if someone called him).  Our guide translated the signs which are displayed in all villages.  The first 2 translated as "Girl babies are equally as good as boy babies" and "Do not get rid of your girl babies".  Then they proceeded to say that there would be a fine for having more than the allowed number of babies.  Another billboard was more on family planning and informed the village people about how to avoid getting aids, what to do on the first night after you are married and the general developmental stages of children.  The idea is that the people in the villages need to learn these things so putting up the signs will educate them about these things.  Our guide told us that 58% of the country's people are living in the country (some much more remote than what we saw).  He was a wealth of information about how the villagers live and how the situation has changed and has impacted international adoption.  Very interesting.  We met an 85 year old lady who sat on her seat outside watching us and learned that without any old age security of any kind she will continue to work until the day she dies.  That is the plight of a farmer in China.  I could go on and on.  Then we went to the Silk Embroidery Factory and the kids saw how silk is made.  They thought that was pretty neat.  Overall it was a great day.  And for those of you that think this sounds like a cake walk (as a couple of you have mentioned) and that we are not including the low points...picture this!!  Our evening flight left Guilin at 9:40 pm and although we insisted that the kids slept in the airplane (which they did), by the time we arrived at 11:00 pm they were exhausted and pretty much done!!  We got off the airplane (Scott and I carrying the girls half sleeping and half crying), Carter dragging himself behind practically in his sleep, Bailey carrying 2 carry ons like the trooper that he has been, and Scott and I dragging the rest.  Then we got off the plane into the pouring rain (everything wet at that point) and had to take a bus shuttle to get to the main airport.  Then the kids slept in the van to our hotel and now Scott and I have it down to a fine art...put the sleeping children on the luggage carts and wheel them up to the room and tuck them in.  It wasn't pretty! 

We slept in this morning and then took a 1 1/2 hour ride out to do a boat ride to see the Leshan Buddha which is a massive carving that was done over 1000 years ago and took 90 years to build.  The pictures will give you an idea of what it looked like.  The drive back was long and uneventful except for being pulled over by the police and military for an inspection and the kids fighting over which DS they would get.  Tomorrow we go to see pandas which we are also excited about.  Scott and Carter also found a local place that will do our laundry.  Carter came back (after carrying it 15 minutes down the road) and said that they had to call a friend who spoke english so they knew what we wanted and that they counted out each piece that they gave them one at a time.  We are taking it easy tonight (decided to skip the tea house and Sichuan Opera as we need to sleep so that we can be up bright and early for the panda reserve.  We are craving some home cooked food (Addy is widdling down to nothing).  Today I gave Addy some crackers that we had bought at a local store (similar to baby cookies I would say) and she passed it back to me and said she didn't like it.  Kayla turned to me a couple of minutes later and said, "Mommy, how does Addy know she doesn't like it if she didn't even try it.  Oh, I think she might have smelled it."  Very wise.  She and Carter are doing much better than expected with the food and various smells (especially now that Carter is 100% better).  Addy is not so happy about the squat toilets and finding a regular seat with some toilet paper is like winning the lottery.  

A little tidbit of info for our China group friends.  As I sit typing there is construction going on above my head.  I am typing to an even beat of hammering.  They shut off the water twice today and we can expect the hammering to stop around 9:00 pm.  On the bright side Laurie...there is no brown water dripping on my head!  Pictures to come after dinner.  


  1. Oh my goodness....poor little Addy with the food....
    You should get your mom to bring some crackers and peanut butter or something she likes...
    Let me know her favorite foods and I'll stock up before you come home!
    Despite that though, in comparison to the farming village you just described...life could be worse.
    Keep plugging away and continue to find those magic moments together as a family.

  2. Wow, sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun. What great memories.

    Enjoy and look forward to reading your next post.

  3. Luggage carts as traveling beds....what a great concept! Thank you for sharing even the difficult parts of your trip. It makes your journey even more real and alive to us back home. Hope things go better for you today. And what would a trip to China be without hotel construction going on overhead. I just bet that's bringing back some memories for you. Just glad to hear that you didn't get brown water...yuck!


  4. (Lorna) Hi Lisa & clan. Thanks so much for this blog. I am following with great interest thinking of our trip to come. when you are back and settled (!) I would love to see those pics of the farming village. RL comes from a farm area and it would be great to get a feel for her beginnings however tough.

    Hang on Addy! If you are going back to Beijing, the pizza hut is really really good. Tell Mom and Dad you need a pizza!

    Almost Anya time, we'll be watching!

    Lorna K.

  5. Sounds like you all are having an amazing time! Hang in there, Addy!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write of your journey. I am loving learning all about the country!

  6. We love reading your posts everyday and seeing the pictures! What a fabulous trip and learning experience for all of you! Counting down the days with you till you unite with little Anya!!