Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Hutong and shopping
Everyone is healthy and enjoying our last days in China. Bailey commented tonight that it is good and bad that we were going home. Good because he could see everyone and show everyone his new sister but bad because he wants to stay in China because it is a cool place. It has been a great amount of time to really experience the different way of life here in China and to meet so many great people. Today when we were on the Hutong Tour (rickshaws through the old Hutong village) we found a big house for sale. Our guide Lily has me starting a school here and thinks that house would be big enough for us. On our tour we visited a local Hutong house and the kitchen was about the size of my closet at home. There was not enough room for more than one person to stand in. We were told that at times meals for 35 people would be cooked in that kitchen. This family was considered to be very well off. We also visited a kindergarten for children ages 2-7 (after that there is government provided school) which was interesting. About one third of the children in this school stay at the school from Monday to Friday and then only go home on the weekends. Hard to believe but such a different way of life. There is really no set way that people live in China...it depends a lot on the province, city, or village that the people live in, the rules for that particular area and the way of life. Even all 3 schools that we visited in 3 different provinces have all differed a great deal. We had a good afternoon of shopping for souvenirs and then went out to dinner with a great friend from the US. There will be many special people that we will be leaving behind in China but know that they will never be far away in our hearts.