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Daniel's China Adventure

China day 6

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hello everyone from Chengde China! Today was yet another eventful day full of activities (kind of like every day in this country.). We started off at the summer mountain resort in Chengde. (Four hours outside of Beijing). It was built outside of Beijing for the emperors to handle political issues. The scenery at this magical place was really amazing. A river flowed through the resort and the atmosphere was welcoming. When we got there we enjoyed a band play for us. They had ancient instruments that were extremely unique. I had never seen them before. After the four season songs, we had a chance to view the instruments. There was one that really caught my eye. It was like a mixture of a piano and drum set. there was a board with strings all along it and there were two light sticks. When you hit the strings, it would make a beautiful sound that was like a guitar but much lighter. I got to play it and I had a blast. Its similar to the drums except there are more variations of sounds to make. The overall performance was really great and I liked it a lot. We learned that the performers came in every weekend as volunteers and played for the tourists. I like this sense of comraderie between the chinese and the foreigners.

As the performance finished, we walked through the summer mountain resort. We had many "shopportunities" (term coined by our loveable tour guide riley) as we walked through the resort. The amazing thing about the resort was the amount of deer freely roaming around. I think today was the most deer I have ever seen in a four hour period. There were tons of them and the weird thing was that they weren't afraid of animals. We even tried to feed them. Bambi had a lot of kids that migrated to China. The main event of the mountain resort was hiking the mini great wall. It was not quite as beautiful or rigorous as the real thing, but it still had some awesome views. There were a lot of steep parts of the wall where my buddy drew and I decided to sprint up them. It was quite an exercise that I enjoyed a lot. Anson (tommy burger boy) also joined us on this demanding exercise.

Following the demanding hike, we had a nice cozy picnic in the fields of the garden. Our lunches were already prepared and came in little red boxes. There were a lot of ants in the grass. I noticed that they were abnormally larger than in California.

The next activity brought up the aspect of hard work and practice once again. We went to a paper museum and learned that this invention was brought to the world by the Chinese before the europeans. This was also a shopportunity where we could purchase these intricate designs of paper. The paper was so carefully cut into all kinds of designs. What really surprised me was how long it takes to be a master cutter. The owner explained that it took her thirty years to be at the level she is right now. She did a demonstration and made a butterfly which took her three minutes. It was mind boggling how fast and great it came out.

After some shopping at the museum, we had a nice break at the hotel. It gave us some time to freshen up for one of the most entertaining dinners to come. When we got to the restaurant we ate and had a grand old time. There was a performance for us that involved some dancing. The best part was that we got to go up on the stage and dance with them. It was really fun and we took a lot of pictures. The night was a great finale to the day. This trip gets better and better every day. Thanks for checking out the blog and be sure to look at the pictures I put up. Zia jian!

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Karen Wells said...

I'm glad you took the opportunity to play the instrument and dance with the group. I can tell you are the type of person who searches out opportunities and relishes the experience. You are surely getting a lot of chances to do that on this trip. Karen Wells DSA South Africa

Changing Connections said...

I have come to notice key words in your posts, and I actually read for them. You got me hooked on that approach on your 3rd or 4th post, the one you said you didn't have a word for other than incredible. So now your defining words pop out for me that define the day: camaraderie, "shopportunities," hard work and practice. Really enjoy your posts.

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN Leadership Council Blog Coordinator

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 4th - 18th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture