Off to Lashihai

imageToday we all had an opportunity to sleep in after a tiring hike yesterday, and most of us were up by about 9:30. Before our departure from the hostel in Lijiang at 2:00, we explored the bustling streets for a place to eat brunch. Connor, Will, and I ended up finding a small cafe where we had tasty English breakfasts and coffee. Once we returned, all of us reconvened in the main room of the hostel for a meeting and discussion about Chinese culture. We also discussed a service project that we will be doing in the Naxi village over the next few days. The project is geared towards trash collection and water preservation, as the local springs are vital to the community and they most therefore be kept clean. Some of us will be picking up trash and putting up signs to prevent further pollution and encourage better habits. I will also be leading a needs assessment similar to that which I conducted in Haiti this November. We hope to continue service projects in this community when students come to China in the future, and by conducting a needs assessment we can get an idea for what projects would make the most impact and be the most sustainable. Once everything had been planned out, we left the hostel to head to the village where we would also begin our second set of homestays. We arrived about 40 minutes later at a main house in the village to be immediately welcomed with tea and walnuts. Before long our host families arrived, and we all went our separate ways with our host parents. Zach and I would be staying together this weekend, and after a five minute walk we arrived at our house. The house was very nice, with spacious rooms and a beautiful courtyard. When we arrived we were taken on a small tour of the house by our host father, and we were amused by the plethora of livestock the family owns. While no one in the house can speak English, I have continued to be impressed by the hospitality with which we have been received at every place we have gone. Our hosts have continuously gone so far to make sure we are comfortable and enjoying ourselves, and this family has been no different. Tonight we had a delicious rice, potato, cabbage, and pork dinner that was obviously fresh from the village and maybe even the fields behind the house. For once we could actually see where our food was coming from, a rare experience back in the United States. For the rest of the night we hung around the house relaxing and watching tv with the family. Today was a great start to the weekend and I know we are all looking forward to spending more time with our families.


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