Thursday, June 23, 2011
When my friend Bill shared the details about his upcoming service project in China I was immediately onboard. Sightseeing all the major Beijing attractions and spending several days doing volunteer work at orphanages was just my style.
Now, here I am rolling down a Beijing highway blogging of my adventures.
Mom and I arrived safely after an uneventful flight on Air Canada and met up with our group in baggage claim. Seventeen of us hailing from Northeast Ohio and three from China. We have Ms. Cai the Chinese liaison for the FAC adoption agency. Brett, our Chinese interrupter and David, a 35 year old from Stow, Ohio who has been living & teaching in China for six years. Together we headed off by bus to our apartment in Olympic Village. By dusk we were strolling through Olympic Park snapping tons of pictures of the Birds Nest, Water Cube and torch.
The next morning we visited the famous Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City. This is where our group spotted its first “split pants” as we called it. A popular form of potty training where toddlers wear shorts/pants with a split up the seam and no underpants, giving the child quick and easy access anywhere any time. No doubt cost effective but unusual for us Americans to see bear butts in public places.
The highlight of the day was a rickshaw ride through the Hutong Village & lunch in a local family’s home.
Mr & Mrs Liu were gracious hosts and filled us with every sort of Chinese dish imaginable. The food was excellent and I was amazed by Mrs Liu’s abilities in a kitchen without a stove and no bigger than my guest bathroom. After our meal Mr. Liu was eager to share his prize winning crickets with us. Oh yes, Crickets!! Mr Cricket as he is better know is the top cricket fighter in the country and will be featured on HBO & ESPN in Japan. He explained (through a translator of course) the different cricket fighting equipment, weight classes and objectives. I now know more than I ever needed to about the subject and I can proudly say I have met the Michael Vick of Cricket Fighting!