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August 2004
mountain village, E Mei Shan · 

August 02, 2004  |  mountain village, E Mei Shan
A rare reflective moment, sitting on the porch looking at the bamboo groves, the morning sun (a rare one too this trip) shining from behind them as it slowly rises. I breathe in deeply, the air moist, soaking my every cell and vein. A lovely one-and-a-half year old in her new dress plays in the dirt, her black eyes glitter and we all adore her. The chickens and ducks have scattered for their morning rampage and the circadas have not reached their highest orchestrated pitch. I feel tired, solid onto the ground, knowing as soon as the students arrive for their morning lesson I'll be up and focused, but now it's good to give in. It's perfect, actually. A chicken eats a half-dead locust here for the harvest season, then drags its beak left and right across the slate, back and forth, to clean it of the husks. Amazing what one can observe on a front porch, or reflect upon, let alone being in a beautiful, secluded village, half way up a Buddist mountain in southwest China.

We have been moving a great deal the last month, and now all we have seen are coming back to me, in turn. The night sky of Hongkong, the pouring rain and lotus flowers of Yangshou, the old city bursting with Chinese tourists and the picture of tranquility outside of the city that is Lijiang, the red-robed monks of Zhongdian, the misty terraced fields near Panzhihua, the endless steps and cloud sea of EMei Shan. I've enjoyed all these places, but it's as if they bounced right off my senses. My attention had been elsewhere, on students, on logistics, on issues to solve, on what to do next. I've worked a little too hard, I think. This is a 24-hour job if there ever is one. The kids are terrific, settled in to their homestays,and as far as I can tell digging it, everything about these village homes so different from what they're used to. The homestay, despite the uneasy beginning, is turning out to be great. They don't know this yet, but they will miss this place, as I will. The end of the program, not far off now, beckons and scares me just as it does for the students.

Running low on time, the students will arrive soon.

Posted by yingzhao 01:32 AM | Permalink
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