China Team Journal

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Team 161, Kunming, July 4

By Glenda

Thought for the Day: The past is history. The future is a mystery. Today is a gift that’s why it is called a present.

Photos for the Day: (1) Glenda gets a surprise birthday cake at breakfast. (2) Naxi Orchestra pi-pa player in Lijiang.

Today is the 4th of July and the teams recognition of their homelands National Holiday. Back in the USA many people would be singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, eating hot dogs and towards evening watching a display of fireworks; at least this has been my experience in the past. However, this morning, after the team enjoyed their usual fanfare of Asian and Western cuisine at breakfast we had a birthday cake and song.. Yes, today is my birthday. A special thank you to Hu Di and others who made this a special beginning to the day for me.

After breakfast we all departed for our morning teaching assignments. Two members of our team, Rhonda and Tim, are finishing their 2 week teaching assignment so farewells were in order in their clasrooms and beyond.

In my classroom, the students had discovered it was my birthday and rushed out to purchase a cake….so round 2 of a celebration took place. Wow…what a morning!

After lunch at the hotel, we all scattered in different directions to begin our weekend adventures, Margaret, Carole, Dixie, Leon, Rachel, Joshua and I headed for the Kunming airport for our flight to Lijiang.

Upon arrival in Lijiang, we were greeted by our guide, Wang Li Mei or her English name Tina. In route to the Grand Hotel, Tina informed us about the city of 100,000 mostly Naxi people. Li Jiang means “Beautiful River.” It’s a World Heritage Site with old wooden and stone buildings, cobbled stone streets and streams with willow trees. At an elevation of 2400 m or approx. 7,200 feet, the city is quite charming.

Tina also informed us that Lijiang is a “paradise for men.” The women do all the house and farm work while the men participate in playing music, chess, drawing pictures, drinking tea, smoking and drinking alcohol.

After arriving at our hotel we went to dine at a French Restaurant on bar street. It was a very colorful area in the old city.

We concluded our evening at the Naxi Concert Hall for a superb performance by the Naxi Orchestra. They played ancient music dating back to the Song and Tang Dynasties.

All in all ….a delightful day.