We took a bus to Sara’s home county (Renshou), about an hour and a half out of Chengdu by bus. First things first, we visited her mom. Sweet lady, Sara looks like her. We had some time before meeting her for dinner though, so Sara took me to the main attraction in her city: a temple on a mountain. We climbed some thousand stairs to get to the top. It was a beautiful view, we could see basically the whole city and surrounding foothills from there. And no doubt we were very proud of climbing that many stairs.
Sunday: Renshou Countryside
In honor of mother’s day, Sara, me, her mom and aunt and cousins and kids visited Sara’s grandmother in the countryside. It was unlike any experience I have ever had. We drove by taxi for 20 minutes through villages just out of the city, then had to get out and walk another 20 minutes just to get to her house. It was a beautiful walk into the foothills of Renshou, and I’m so amazed I got to see that part of China. Farms, brick houses, animals, hills, clouds, streams, paths… Beautiful.
When we arrived, this little tiny lady met us, tan and wrinkled, barely any teeth, cutest little lady I’ve ever met! Although she had no idea we were coming (no phone, no internet), she made us all lunch. It was delicious. Eventually we walked back down out of the hills to Sara’s apartment and packed up to take the bus back to Chengdu.
Monday: The Best ofW Chengdu
Today we got to see “China’s National Treasure:” PANDAS. I had never seen Pandas before, and let me tell you: they are adorable. Sara and I were exclaiming over each and every one. We spent several hours at the Panda Reserve, looking at pandas, eating lunch by the lake, watching the black swans and other wildlife. From there, we went to Kuan Xiang Zi, an old part of Chengdu that has been turned into a little tourist neighborhood with shops and restaurants. The buildings were beautiful, such amazing sights and smells and sounds. Our favorite part of the afternoon was chasing “statue man” through the alley so we could get a picture of him. He even stopped and posed for us once we caught up to him. We are still laughing about that.
It’s been a great long weekend. Now tomorrow we are back to meetings. Lunch with a Community Development Organization, and then coffee with an adoptive family living here in Chengdu. Week two is well under way!