Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How I Spent Christmas

On Saturday it was boiled pig fat and chicken feet for lunch in the village. Chicken feet are ok once you get past the image of them being attached to their owners. Still not my favorite.

Sunday was a 9 hour drive to my friend's village. Up and down switchbacks,

across foot bridges,

and a raft across the river.

Then we spend Christmas Eve eating pig fat, chicken insides, and blood sausage for 3 ginormous meals. (I have no pictures of these...)
Then Christmas day was spent in the van, driving back up those switchbacks after crossing the river again.
When I finally got back to the city, my American friends had not waited for me. So the food was cold and there were hardly and mashed potatoes left. I had unreasonably gotten my hopes up that they would wait for me.
All in all, a good weekend. Just a little tired.
People gave me Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as a gift. Now I have more than I'll be able to eat in the next 10 months. I'll have to start giving some away.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


This is the poorly marked handicapped parking space from which our car was stolen. On the wet pavement at night, the blue paint was not clear. The sign was far from the car. After a night of bowling, we assumed the car was towed, but in fact, it was stolen. We're still waiting for news.

Animal House

We made rooster gumbo.

Trying to move the goats into the barn. Chipper didn't want to cross the road. We'll try again another day.

Opossum tracks. It killed two of our ducks.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jason--World Traveller

Overlooking Heidelberg, Germany.

Bratwurst and mushrooms at a Heidelberg Christmas market.

Lucerne, Switzerland.

Innsbruck, Austria, street of giants.

Dancing with his British girlfriend in Wien (Vienna), Austria.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Beer Drinkin' Babe

Niki at the HofbrÀuhaus in Munich

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We went out to a village and built a greenhouse this weekend. Here's a picture of the guys putting up the beams.

We didn't get to finish the work, because of poor planning and miscommunication, but here's a picture from when we changed the plastic on the greenhouse at our test plot last week. On the one we built in the village, we used bamboo instead of wood, so it's arched like the big greenhouse at home...

I've been out to that village several times, but never had this view of the mountains before. I guess the clouds and haze must have hidden them from view. These are the two snow capped mountains between which the Yangtse River rushes through Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cistern Foundation

Mum and Fred helped us build a foundation for a cistern for an elementary school up in a remote village. Here's a look:

The kids helped mix the cement and gather stones for the foundation.

Actually, the kids did most of the work. It was hard to stop them once they got involved.

After we finished the work, we had a sing off with the students. The teachers kept making us sing songs, and the kids sang songs back. Then we did the hokey pokey and we turned ourselves around...

That's what it's all about.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Glass on glass

This is the final product of the stained glass class I took this semester.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hu Tiao Xia

Mum at Tiger Leaping Gorge, doing a typical Chinese pose.

Mum and me. A local friend took this picture, so she didn't get the real background in.

It was dark and cold.

and high.

3,900+ meters high

Mum's doing well with the altitude. While we walked back from the gorge, my local friend had to run to keep up with her.

They're both enjoying the food.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I think I ended up eating most of this pancake without using my hands.

Muus in the snow

This is Muus's second day checking out snow. I don't think she likes it as much as I do.