Saturday, October 6, 2012

we went away

The trip was, as we had brashly decided it would be, delightfully Worth It. The train ride to get there was perfect. We had beds in our own tiny, secluded cabin where we could hide from curious eyes and stretch out, resting with books or letting the baby sleep. We watched the countryside go by, blanketed by gray clouds and gloomy raindrops, each station filled with umbrellas shuffling past down below our window.

Our host was a friend of ours who had traveled home this past week to be with his family over the Mid Autumn Festival and National holiday. He grew up in this small village; a forty five minute bus ride out of the city we had trained to, over the Yangtze river and then a short walk to his home. 

We were somewhat self conscious, landing in this friend's home with our six people strong and tactfully forgetting our large bag of delicious fruits and treats we had intended to give as a gift to our hosts. But they were of course exceedingly gracious and seemed genuinely pleased to have us along for the ride. It was after all, a festive time for them as well and each meal had family members from all over the neighborhood congregating around the deliciously prepared food.

Our kids did remarkably well, trying most of the food and though skirting their way around some of it, found enough to munch on that they stayed full and happy and did not grumble about hunger (we had packed stashes of Snickers and noodles just in case). We explored the nearby streets and fields, and followed the train tracks to the local market. It was wet and drizzling most of the time we were there, so a few things we had looked forward to, like touring his Aunt's organic farm across the way, and going up into the Juzi Orchard behind the house that his grandfather had cultivated all his life, could not be done because of mud sloshed roads and our unprepared attire. Nonetheless, we managed to climb around and get dirty and happily fresh-aired as it was.

We spent the train ride home on hard seats, in the stuffy car with 120 other people. Seven hours of people following your every move, asking you repeatedly what country you are from and all manner of similar questions, and trying to manage six people on four seats with very limited activities is a daunting task. But happily, our troupe again did remarkably well. I was so proud of my little ones and their adaptability, patience, and creativity. Actually, I was proud of and incredibly thankful for my Man in this regard as well. He held children, made up little games, played cards, entertained the {slightly} irritating little friend that kept spitting her candy out at our feet, never complained or got tired and kept everyone laughing and smiling until the bitter end. Though it wasn't bitter at all. In fact, despite the hiccups and strains that inevitably come with traveling in China, and that with many small children, we are already thinking of doing it again.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful adventure for you to have altogether. Did you all six share a room too? That is how true memories and intimacy are made, right?