(This was literally one of the BEST, most amazing days of our lives, so I need to break it into at least two parts,) We were so excited to be back in Huining. So excited to see the Zhang family and the kids!! I didn't explain in my last post, but our poor friend Chai got really sick when we got to Lanzhou, so we decided to go alone to Huining. Chai helped us to get bus tickets and sent the bus number to Mr. Zhang so they were waiting for us at the bus station. Emily and Eli really had to kick into translating gear at this point! Plus, we had two translation apps that were really helpful. Luckily the local English teacher came over to help us later in the evening, which was a nice addition to our group.
We started the day with a stroll around town. Things have changed a lot in the last three years, lots of upgrades to the streets and new buildings going up everywhere. The crane business is truly booming in this country! But it is still a very remote area of China, which is why we love it. There is not a fast food restaurant in any part of town that we saw, just very authentic Chinese foods, traditions, customs and shopping here. And the people are as friendly and warm as we have ever met!
Tom and I, the "Mei Guo Ren/Americans", (but really it's our race that surprises them so!) still created quite a stir on the streets and literally were asked for photos at least 15 times a day. Not counting the many people that just try to take a photo on the sly, which you can see in many photos. Most people just squeal and come running over to smile while a friend takes the photo. Some people had phones, others just wanted us to take their photo on our camera, so that they could look at it with us. Too funny!
We walked to see the Buddhist temple up on the hills near the edge of town, as well as the Taoist shrine that is being built/reconstructed. So beautiful! The kids had fun tossing a ball around and running through the dusty hills with each other. We brought Minnesota Wild T-shirts for the boys and "Red, White, and Awesome" shirts for the girls, so they were all matching :)
This photo is of Emily and MaYiHan, her first friend, and the Zhang's granddaughter. They have adored each other both times we have visited!
We also got to see the outside of the kids' school as we walked to lunch. They are still in session until July 18th! My kids and I were so happy we have a three month break!
Tom was asked what his favorite food was in China the night before and he told them he loved Beijing duck, so for lunch we were treated to a BJ duck feast! These animals outside he restaurant seemed happy with the choice!
Mr. Zhang told us to take a rest at the hotel for an hour and that we would, "Go to the countryside to visit his mother," when we met again. We were in for a world changing trip that we couldn't even imagine as we laid down to rest! More to come...