Thursday, April 16, 2009

More from Yangshuo

Pictures, as promised, from the awesome adventure trip! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mountainous Medicine

So, I know you haven't heard from me in a while and some of you probably think I've fallen off the grid---BUT, good news, I've been traveling and exploring A LOT! These are some pictures of this past week's 10th Grade Spring Trip to Yangshuo-the outdoor Mecca of China! I was SO HAPPY I was chosen to go on this trip out of all of the others because my soul was SO THIRSTY for some hiking, climbing, caving, and ANY ADVENTURE I CAN GET! It was also nice to be muddy 14 hours of each day-that's the state in which I prefer to exist-muddy but HAPPY! It rained everyday there so it made each activity that much more challenging (especially for those students who have never touched mud in their life-yes they DO exist!) I loved every minute of it-it was like I was a caged up bird set free in the mountains! Now, I do live in the mountains AND on the ocean but never do I get a chance-as my 'job'-to lead/guide these kids into doing my most favorite of things! Now THAT'S a job, right?! Anyway, we had a great time-check out the pics below-more to come!

A view from the top of the small town of Yangshuo

Everyone rides bamboo rafts up and down the river for transportation

These are cormorant birds-used for fishing. The fisherman tie a string around their neck (I KNOW, it seems harmful but really is not) and he takes the fish out when they are hungry and the birds dive/swoop down into the river and catch the fish and then swallow it half-way so they can 'spit it up' later when they come out of the water. This is how most villagers earn a living. The average income of this village is 2000 RMB a year which equals out to about $300 USD per year which actually-compared to the rest of the world (using is one of the higher annual incomes throughout the world. CRAZY HUH??

Fisherman in action

Li River

Streets of Yangshuo-the red stuff on the ground is the results of fireworks-YEAR ROUND in China

During our caving/spelunking expedition (this is a pic of the brave kids and myself) there is a mud pit which is around 30 meters by 50 meters and about 5 feet deep in some areas that you can play ALL YOU WANT IN! Now, it was freezing, but who can resist this AWESOME experience to get dirty and enjoy mud?

After hiking out a river we came up out of the cave and this is where we ended up. Hiking out a river, I have to say, is one of the COOLEST things when you are a mile INSIDE of a 12,000 ft. high mountain! Looks like we are on the show "Land of the Lost"

In the airport in Shanghai, some of the students ran into "Noah" from the movie "The Notebook"-REALLY!

pic from our 30km hike

The start of our 30 km hike

We started our hike in a small fishing village called Xin Di. This is a picture of a SWEET old lady who was selling peanuts for 1kuai (about 13 cents)(This is how they make a living). I ONLY wanted a picture with her because she had smile lines like I had NEVER seen ANYONE have before. They set up camp at her eyes and cheeks and hiked all the way up her face-BEAUTIFUL LADY! When I asked to get a picture with her (in minimal Chinese because Chinese people over 50 different dialects of the spoken language) she acted sassy and said "You have to pay me 2 kuai if you want to have a picture with me!" I didn't have money so I asked a student to sneak in a picture :)

30 km bike ride through rice paddy fields. One time I toppled over into one because the mud was SO THICK and AWESOME!

Front door of a 300 year old village house

the downtown of Yangshuo


What my feet/pants looked like EVERYDAY after our activites/adventures! YES!

This was the pond we got to jump in after the caving/mud pits! It was freezing but awesome!

Group 1 after rock climbing for the day! I topped out on a WICKED 5.10a

Group 1 girls rocked out!

Jin San and Yae Jin

Me and Amanda-one of my best friends here in Qingdao who also teaches at QMIS! Thank goodness I've found someone who loves to hike/climb/explore as much as I do :) She is a God-send!

Group 1 boys

Normal setting on a village road

Limestone Karsts are the mountainous-structures located in Yangshuo

This is where we got to hang out all the time, ChinaClimb, they are the group we came through to use their equipment, etc. They had a climbing wall IN their office/building. I salivated the whole time and got a quick fix for bouldering.

Out welcome sign

The ChinaClimb office-Lizard Lounge

Group 1 boy's breakfast

Leaving the hotel