Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 278 – AC!!

We had such a hard time sleeping last night with how hot our apartment was.  Even the fan blowing directly on us all night didn’t help much.  I finally gave up about five a.m. and opened the window to see if the air out there was any cooler than in the bedroom.  A little, but not by much. 

Our classes went well today.  My students on Friday’s are so fun.  They respond so well to everything I do and it just makes it so special. 
Alan's mom gave us some of these.  They are a fruit called, "Lychee"  or "Litchee."  They are grown in southern Chins.  You peel off the outside and eat the white inside.  It is pretty sweet and it has a large single pit in the middle.  They are high in Vitamin C and potassium.  We like!
Just before lunch, Mrs. Chen came with the repairman and he started taking out the old air conditioner.  They worked on it for a while and then said that they would be back.  We left at 2:30 to go with Alan’s mom, Ye Hong, so that she could help us get some things mailed to the US, that we don’t have room for in our luggage.  She had brought along a young man, who is a student, and her cousin, Eva, who speaks very good English, to make sure we had what we needed and to interpret.

We had filled two suitcases with our winter clothing that we don’t need anymore, and the young man strapped them to a dolly for easier hauling.  We walked to the post office that is located at the south end of campus.  When we got there and opened up David’s suitcase, we discovered he had brought over the wrong suitcase, so he hurried back to the apartment and got the right one.  While he was gone, I wrote out the forms and we filled the boxes with what we had. 

After we got the packages sent off, we went back to campus and watched the workmen install the new air conditioner!  We had thought that we were going to meet Jane at the teacher restaurant at five, but she didn’t come, so there must have been some mistake.  We ordered dinner there anyway and then we went to RT Mart to get some groceries and a new mop.  The new one we bought two months ago has already fallen apart.  We just need it for four more weeks!

Just as we were entering the gate of the campus, we met Alan’s parents and they invited us for dinner Sunday evening.  They have some friends whose daughter just came back from studying in the US and Evan will be here.  Then Alan’s Dad raised his eyebrows in a funny way…

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 277 – Saga of the AC

We had hoped that the apartment would cool down with the AC “fixed,” but we had no such luck. We let it run most of the day and it was only like a fan blowing the air around.  I put the thermometer in the living room where the AC unit is and the temperature didn’t even budge going down from where it had been.  We called Kristina again and she sent Mrs. Chen and a repairman over, but after fifteen minutes of working with it, Mrs. Chen said that they would be back between 6 and 7 p.m. to work on it again. 

David had his class this morning, he really likes his Thursday class.  They seem to get into things more that some of his other classes. 

I got my Primary Music video done and chatted with Caleb and Aleeyah for a little while. 

We had planned to go out for dinner tonight, but when Mrs. Chen said that they would be back between six and seven, we decided to eat here.  I was just too hot to want to cook, but I also wanted the AC fixed.  Alan came for his tutoring session and while he was here, Mrs. Chen came in and wanted him to interpret for her.  She said that the unit was no good and that it would take maybe two days to get it replaced.  Not the news I wanted to here.  It is just too hard to sleep when you don’t have any relief from the heat.  Now I hope it only takes two days to fix…

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 276 – Well… AC… Sort of…

David and I both left for classes, but the AC repairman hadn’t come yet, so we figured the Mrs. Chen could let him in if he came.  My classes went well. 

We met Eva at the teacher restaurant and had lunch.  She came to our apartment afterward and when we got there, Mrs. Chen was there with the repairmen.  They worked away and think they got it repaired, but we are not sure yet whether it is worth running it and using the electricity.   Haven’t felt much change yet. 

We needed to go to RT Mart for some groceries, and Eva needed to go the Hongjialou campus, so she drove us there and then we met her after we had our groceries.  She drove us back to our apartment.  It’s nice to not have to carry all that in this heat.

I had my four young girls here for tutoring and I taught them to play, “Go Fish” using new words for their vocabulary.  They seemed to have fun doing it.  They are not taught to be competitive by nature, they want to help everyone win, so it was hard to get them to grasp the concept of “Don’t show anyone your cards!”  It was fun anyway and they did catch on, mostly.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 275 – AC? We Can Only Hope…

David has Tuesday off, so he stays home and cleans the floors while I go teach.  He worked on the computer for a little while and then went to get water to mop the floors.  Guess what?  NO WATER!!  Kristina, from the Foreign Teacher’s Office, was coming by to see about the air conditioner in our apartment because it doesn’t work.  They decided it was a problem that would need a repairman, so they said they would have one here this afternoon.  Eventually the water came back on and he was able to do his mopping. (What a good husband I have!)

My classes went well and we just had lunch here.  We had planned to go get groceries, but we had to stay here to let the repairman in when he came.  We decided all the stuff on our grocery list could wait one more day.  The repairman didn’t come until after David left to play games with his students in the canteen.  The repairman looked at some things on the air conditioner and then decided he didn’t bring the right tool to fix it, so he will come tomorrow morning.  I hope we can sleep tonight because it is hot and a little muggy right now.

We met Wayne and Libby Clark at the teacher restaurant and had a nice dinner together.  They had come over to attend a concert that the Pace’s had found out about from one of Stan’s students.  We all planned to go together and it was a nice concert.  It featured a trombonist, a clarinetist and a violinist.  The clarinetist was really good!  We enjoyed several brass quintet numbers also. 

There was a little five year old boy, who was enjoying the music so much that he was pretending to play the instruments and then he started dancing around.  He noticed David and I and David started waving at him. The boy got a little rambunctious for the concert and it was all David’s fault!  (wink, wink)  The little boy knows his numbers in English and a few other little words and he was trying them out on David.  We talked to the mother after the concert and found out that she is going to Los Angeles in June for a year of study abroad.  David gave her a card so that hopefully we can connect when we get back to the US.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 274 – Busy Monday

I had to catch the city bus in order to make it to the campus on time.  The bus was pretty crowded when I got on and my bag was a little heavy.  An elderly woman that was sitting near me, indicated that I could put my bag on her lap so that it was easier to handle.  She tried to talk to me and I was able to communicate that I was teaching at the Baotuquan campus of Shandong University this morning.  She talked about how I would have a lot of bus stops before I got there.  I knew that, but she was getting off in two bus stops and gave me her seat when she got up to get off.  That was so nice of her! 

My classes went well and we had a lot of fun presenting the readers theaters.  Some kids really hammed it up and made it a lot of fun.  Everyone did well, but some just made it more fun than others. 

I wanted to give the guard that has always been so nice to me and who gave me the one Yuan bill to catch the bus a few weeks ago.  He wouldn't accept my attempt to repay him last week, so I decided to make him some banana bread and give that to him.  I made the banana bread last week before we left and kept it in the frig.  When I gave it to him today, he was so pleased.  We tried to talk some more, he knows more English than I know of Chinese, so it was a limited conversation, but we did communicate.  I really like him!

After a quick lunch, David and I went to the Qinfushan Hospital to meet with Dr. Tricia.  I needed to see the cardiovascular surgeon to talk about my last blood test.  He thinks I am on the correct dose and that I won’t need to come in again for 3-4 weeks.  That was nice to hear.  He talked a little more today about his history.  He spent some time in Toronto Canada for some study, so that is why he can speak English pretty well.  He is a little frustrated because he has lost some of his ability and would like to talk with us more so he can practice.

David had to leave early so that he could do square dance with his students.  He only had two boys and two girls come, so they came up to the apartment and played games instead.  It was a little hot to be outside dancing in this heat, anyway. 

We had planned to go to the teacher restaurant, but when we got there at 6 p.m., they said that the restaurant was not making any more food tonight, so we had to decide where to go.   We bought some juice with my meal credits and then went to the store on campus for some yogurt and bread.  We stopped in to see the university shop that has shirts, bags, socks and sweaters with the university logo on it.  I bought a shirt and David got a lapel pin. 

We took our stuff home and then went to Yon Ho for supper.  We also stopped at Uni-Mart after we ate to get milk and eggs so that I could make breakfast in the morning.  The wind had come up and cooled off the day, so we had a pleasant walk home tonight.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 273 – Sunday in Qingdao

David went with Kathy Guo to find the store this morning so we could have some breakfast.  When he got back, we ate and then packed up so we could check out and meet some of the Qingdao BYU teachers so they could escort us to Church today.

We met Deanne Hughes at the bus stop and didn’t have to wait very long for it to come.  The place where the Qingdao Branch meets is in a condo complex that has a wonderful view of the Yellow Sea.  I was impressed from my first view of the place where they meet that it was special!  It is a small space, but it so perfectly seems to fit the needs that this small branch has. 
This is the Chapel part of the condo.  It was just wonderful.  They have three Korean families and a Japanese couple that meet with them.  They have two missionaries that are leaving on missions this summer.  One is going to Korea and the other is going to South Salt Lake Mission.

Here is the view from the balcony window.  You can't really sea the Yellow Sea, but it was out there.

We wished that it hadn't been so misty today from the rain yesterday, but this is the best view we had of the Yellow Sea.

We had to walk very quietly up the stairs to the second floor so that we didn’t let on to the neighbors in the complex that there was a large group upstairs.  I wonder if they know anyway and just don’t say anything to the authorities. 

Today was Branch Conference for the Qingdao Branch, so the District President, President Weaver was there.  There was such a beautiful spirit there.  The Branch President, Romney Burke and one of the counselors, Harold Rust, usually take turns playing the piano/organ for their Sacrament Meeting, but today they asked if I would do that.  I was honored and very happy to play the organ for their meeting today.  It has been so long!

We were only able to stay for Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School because we had to take a bus to the train station.  The bus ride was an hour and fifteen minutes.  We let the bus attendant who takes the money for the bus, know that all eight of us needed to get off at the train station.  She spoke a little English, enough to talk with us and find out who we were and where we were from. She watched out for us and made sure that we all had seats for the long ride.  We sure appreciated her concern for us and made sure that we know where to get off. 

The ride home was uneventful, but pleasant.  We got a taxi to take us home and we have been relaxing here since then.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 272 – Qingdao

We decided to have breakfast at the hotel this morning, but it was REALLY Chinese and we had a hard time finding much to like about it.  After breakfast, we had to hurry down to the lobby and meet the others so we could cross the street to catch the bus for our adventure today. 

Qingdao is the sponsor of an International Horticulture Exposition and that is part of what we came down here to see.  The Qingdao University sponsored a trip to the Exposition and they we all got tickets to go to it.  We met the bus in front of their university, which is right across the street from our hotel.  It took about an hour to get there because the traffic was pretty heavy.  We also picked up five of the BYU teachers from Ocean University here in Qingdao.
This is a topiary in the park.  There were several interesting ones.

This building is called the lotus building and they have a whole place dedicated to teaching about the lotus flower.

Walking under the sharks in the aquarium.

Jelly fish!  Cool to watch them up close like this.

In the arboretum.

Cool waterfall, and cool David!

Jim and Wendy Purnell with two girls who had been practicing some English with us.

It is amazing to see how they get these trees to grow like this!

The Exposition is situated on about 1000 acres outside of the city.  Part of it is an amusement part and part of it is cultural displays.  They also have an enclosed arboretum and a walk-through aquarium.  We rode a shuttle bus to the first stop that was by the aquarium and decided to go see that first.  It was pretty cool to walk through and have sharks and flounders swimming around you. 
Kathy in the brown sweater and her son, Hansen, taking his picture with... whatever that is.

Because of the terror attacks in the farthest west province of Xinjiang (we are in the east of China) there was an increased military presence at the Exhibition.

Part of the display in the Haier Building was to show what you could do with the computer and pictures of clothes in your wardrobe.  Here David tired on a wedding dress.

I thought this outfit was cute too!

Here's another good one.  All he had to do was wave his hand on the right side of the screen and a new outfit would appear.

This piano has a screen for beginner pianist and it helps teach them piano.  Watch out piano teachers, you may be out of a job.  David got to play a little bit and got applause from the group around us.  And of course, the pictures taken by those around us.

Then we went through the arboretum and enjoyed the flowers and trees to see there.  We had fun talking with some of the young elementary age children a little bit.  They would start it by saying, “Hello,” and we would respond and the usually say, “How are you?” or something like that.  They just get such a thrill out of thinking that they can talk with us and understand what we are saying. 

We got on another shuttle bus and rode it to the top of the hill where there were three buildings with displays in them.  We got in line for one of the buildings, which turned out to be the building sponsored by Haier Corporation.  While we were standing in the line, one of the girls from inside at the reception desk approached us and asked it we would like a tour by an English speaking guide (at no cost to us), so we said that would be great. 
A fisherman topiary.  
When we got inside the building, they pulled us aside to wait for our guide.  A pretty young lady gave us the tour through the building as we were followed around by several camera people and another guide who helped her with the English words she was still working on learning.  Haier Corporation manufactures many household appliances and they are also the makers of the refrigeration system for the China space program.  They had some really cool things to show us and we all enjoyed it.  Our guide was thrilled to be using her English and wished that there were more English speakers that would come through so she could practice more.

We decided to have lunch next, even though it was still a little early for it, and we were very glad we went when we did.  They have a complicated (at least to us) system for how to pay for the food.  You buy a card and put some money on it.  When you go to pay for you food at one of the 20 or so booths, and they take it off of the card.  When you are all done, you turn the card in at another booth and they give you a refund of the money not used and the 10 RMB that they charge for the card as a deposit.  We were able to show many of the others of our group that came through how to use it, but we were so glad that we had Kathy Guo with us to speak the Chinese and help us.

We saw several more displays before we headed back to the bus.  It had started raining shortly before lunchtime and mostly just got worse the rest of the afternoon.  When we were dropped off in front of the university, we came back to the hotel and put our feet up for a little while. 

Harold Rust and Romney Burke said they would show us around some of the most important parts of Qingdao this afternoon.  We met them on the lobby at 4 p.m. and rode the bus to an area that was close to the ocean.  We walked and walked and walked and walked, seeing the Olympic area for the sailing competitions that were held here in 2008.  Then we walked many more places, but what we really wanted to see was the old German part of Qingdao.  The town was occupied by the Germans for many years and the old part of town still looks very much European, with a little Chinese flavor added.
Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center.  It was pretty wet!

Roasted starfish for a snack, anyone?

The Catholic church in the old German part of Qingdao.  Cobblestone streets and all.

By the end of the evening, it was getting pretty hard for me to walk because my feet were so sore, so I was really glad to see the end of the evening as we met all the other BYU teachers at the Ratts Keller Restaurant.  Stan Pace has served his mission in Germany and wanted Weiner Schnitzel, so that’s why that restaurant was chosen.  It was a nice way to end the evening.

David and I were exhausted, so we shared a cab back to the hotel with Deanne Hughes.  She brought us over some oatmeal and fruit that we can use for our breakfast tomorrow morning.  Kathy had said there was a little market that we could get some things for breakfast tomorrow, but David looked around for over a half hour and couldn’t find anything. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 271 – Trip to Qingdao

David and I both had classes to teach this morning.  Mine went well.  David had a student that doesn’t know why he has to learn anymore English write him a letter that tells all the reasons why he isn’t doing any work in the class and that he doesn’t think he needs the class.  It is disheartening to get a letter like that, but then you have to put it in the context of who was writing it and that the majority of his students like the class.

After we had a quick lunch, washed the dishes and then finished packing for our weekend trip to Qingdao.  Qingdao is on the Pacific coast of Shandong Province and we are getting together with the BYU CTP teachers in this area to enjoy the area. 

We went to the south gate of campus and tried to get a cab.  We were there for at least 15 minutes before one finally stopped for us.  Several passed us up to pick up people who had the right look to them (the Chinese look), so we were very grateful for the one that did stop for us and took us to the train station.  We were just in time to get in line with the other Jinan BYU teachers and get on the train.

The tip here took about 3 hours on the high-speed train.  I corrected the papers from my class and read and we both slept for a little nap. 

We thought we would try and get two taxis to take us to our hotel, but there was a van waiting in line with the taxis and the guy quoted us a great price for taking all eight of us to the hotel.  The drive took about an hour because we were traveling through rush hour traffic. 

Gerald and Sharon Thomason met us at the hotel and escorted us to the restaurant that they had made a reservation at for dinner.  It was a really good meal and we enjoyed the time renewing acquaintances with these teachers.  Now to get some sleep.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 270 – Blood Test, Primary Music, Tutoring

I left for the hospital shortly after David left for class.  Dr. Tricia couldn’t be there because she had to work outside the hospital doing home care for the elderly, but she arranged with the nurses and a young doctor that was there to make sure that the blood could be extracted and taken to the right place and have the test paid for.  After the nurse took my blood, the young doctor took the money and the blood to where it needed to be while I sat at the nurses station and ate a little of the breakfast I had brought with me. 

After the young doctor came back with my change, I left and tried to find a certain market that was close by the hospital that we had been to once before a few month back.  Someone said they thought they were selling the DVT stockings there and I wanted to try and find some more, but I couldn’t find the place, so I went back to the bus stop and went home. 

We had lunch here and I made some banana bread after lunch.  I didn’t really want to with how hot it was, but I needed to use some bananas that were “getting there.”  I found out I was out of sugar, so David quickly hopped on his bike and made a quick trip to the Uni-Mart and got some for me (my hero!).  Ummm, tastes good!

I had to get the video for Primary done today, so I got it recorded and then we went to KFC for some dinner.  The sun was not as hot as it had been earlier, so it was a nice walk there and back.  After we got back, David tutored Alan and I finished the video and then had a fight with the internet to get it uploaded.  (Still working…)  I hope it finishes before I have to go to bed… (Still working…)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 269 – Hot Day

I knew today was going to be hot because it started out with a hot night.  The only AC in this apartment is in the living room, a long way away from our bedroom (well 10 feet away, but it just doesn’t reach that far…).  I turned the fans on in my classroom because we needed the air movement to survive.  Teaching went well for me.  David, too, I guess.

After lunch, I was trying to print some pictures for the Primary Music and for my tutoring tonight, but it was only printing out black and white images, so we had to make a quick trip to the technology center on Shanda Lu and buy some new ink cartridges for the printer.  It was during the hottest part of the day and I think it was in the 90’s.  By the time we got back here, I was so hot from the heat and my face was beet red.  I got some ice water and drank as much as I could until the ice ran out.  Have to wait for more cubes in the freezer. 

We met two of David’s class monitors at the teacher restaurant and bought dinner for them.  Carrie and Catherine were very happy to eat with us and we had a nice visit.  They both hope to go to the US or Great Britain for more education. 

My four little girls came for tutoring tonight.  We had a fun game and I taught them another song and some phonics.  Lisa, the mother who sits with them and helps interpret when they need help understanding, asked about when we drink hot water in the US.  I told her I rarely drink hot water.  Over here, they even drink hot water on the hottest days!  That’s what their ancestors did, so they do it, too. 

I hope it cools a little so that I can sleep better tonight.  It sure is hot…

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 268 – Dinner with the Gang

My classes went well today.  David did chores around the house.  We had lunch here and then I took a nap while David made a quick trip to the grocery store.  I had a lot of work to do on the computer to be ready for next week and the weeks after that.  We are getting so close to the end of the semester and I want to be ready.

We met the other BYU teachers at our canteen for dinner.  We also invited Lily, Eva and Kathy, Simon and Hansen.  The Pace's, Clarke's and us all need to use up our credits for meals from the university, so we rented a room and used up a lot of them, well, a lot of the Pace’s and Clarke’s.  We still have a lot.  It was a nice dinner and everyone had their fill to eat.  We took photos and then we had a nice walk home.

Our dinner group.  From the left, David, Libby Clarke, Nancy Pace, Wayne Clarke, Wendy Purnell, Jim Purnell, Simon, Hansen, Stan Pace, Kathy, Lily and Eva.  It was a fun evening.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 267 – Gilbert’s Baby, Our Chinese Grandson

Teaching our classes went well today.  I made the trip over to the Baotuquan Campus for my classes.  Some of the students performed their readers theater skits and they were wonderful.  They put together some power points to go along with the story and enhance the experience. 

I stopped at the guard shack on my way out of campus to try and give back the one Yuan that the guard had given me last week so that I could get home and he refused to take it.  He was a little bolder about speaking English to me today.  He wanted to know which country I came from.  I’ve got to find a way to repay him some other way.  Getting back to our campus went well.

After a short rest, David and I rode the bus to Carrefour.  Gilbert was going to pick us up tonight and take us to see his baby, so we wanted to bring a gift.  We found a ball that was like a globe and on the China map it said, “We love China.”  We inked in where Utah was on the US map and said that when he gets older, they can show where his American grandparents live.  We also got a nice fuzzy blanket and some bibs for him. 

David had a good crowd for his square dancing that eventually got started late.  They seemed to have fun.  I went to get copies made for my class and stopped in at the campus hotel and got a room reserved for Evan when he gets here. 
When we went to the cultural fair back in March, we watched some crafters that do portraits of people in clay.  One of the girls that went around with us and interpreted for us, had these clay busts made for us.  We just got them today when her friend brought them to the square dancing and gave them to David.  Rather amazing!  They did it from some pictures that they took that day.

Gilbert came about 8 p.m. to pick us up.  The baby was sleeping when we got there, but woke up soon after.  Lulu was telling me about the problems that she had delivering the baby.  If she has another one, it will probably have to be a C-section because of the way her right leg is situated.  It was hard to hear her tell about having her doctor and two others pushing on her to get the baby out.  She did say that the breathing techniques that I had taught her were very helpful in getting her to relax and handle the pain better.  We had a nice visit and then Gilbert drove us home.  We are going to miss them!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 266 – Relaxing Sunday

We chatted with Caleb and Alisa this morning.  Aleeyah was being pretty cute.  Can’t wait to be with her and all the grandchildren again (and yes, all the others!).  We left a little later than we should have for Church and we walked in just after the program started.

We had a fun dinner with the others and then stayed around to visit until just after four.  The air conditioning is working at the Purnell’s apartment and we were reluctant to go out in the heat, not to say that we didn’t enjoy the talking, too.  The bus ride home was hot, but the walk across campus to our apartment was pretty nice with the shade from all the big trees and a little bit of breeze to keep things cooler.

David had a Branch Presidency Meeting on Skype tonight, and we got caught up on email and Facebook.  We are hoping that it is cool enough to sleep well tonight.

Day 265 – Qu Fu – Confucius’ HomeThe

Today, Shandong University sponsored a trip to Qu Fu, the home of Confucius.  We met at the south gate of our Campus at 8 a.m. and rode the bus for two and a half hours to get there.  It went by pretty fast because we were having some good conversations.  The Clarke’s and the Pace’s came, along with four of the single teachers that live on our campus. 

When we arrived at 10:30, we met our guide for the day.  We took a short golf cart ride to the Temple area.  It is a pretty large area that has lots of trees and they are almost all cypress trees (aka cedar).  They like the cypress tree and some of them have been growing there for over 900 years.  They are propped up by metal and cement poles, but they are still growing.  Some are dead, but they still have them there propped up.  It was beautiful inside there. 
The cypress (cedar) trees that are a part of the outer court yard surrounding the temple area of Qu Fu. 
The three gates that lead into the next courtyard.  The middle one was for the emperor.  That's the one we went through. 
There are several courtyard areas before you get to the temple built for Confucius.
This panel had ancient poetry written on it, but it was destroyed during the cultural revolution.  The dark patch is where they repaired it at.  There are several of these in the temple area, dedicated to different ancient rulers.  Some were damaged and others were left alone.  
This tree is called the dragon tree.  Because of the way it grew the shape of a dragon can be seen in it.  The tree is starting to fall apart and has been repaired with cement many times and it is held up by poles.  A tree near it was called the phoenix tree, but it is dead.  They still have the tree sitting next to it because the dragon and the phoenix are together in Chinese culture.

This tree is over 900 years old.  Still looks in pretty good shape.

This tree is the "scholar" tree.  Confucius would sit beneath a tree like this to teach his students. 
The men are graduating from the Confucius school.  Our guide told us they were all Koreans.

We had lunch at a restaurant close to the area, and after lunch, we went to Confucius’ residence.  He was a teacher and didn’t make a lot of money in his lifetime, but the place has been built onto in each succeeding generation and it quite impressive there. 

This is part of the home that was built for Confucius progeny.  He himself, lived in a humble hut without much of anything.  He was a teacher, who at the time had little notice from anyone.  A few noble families sent their children to him for an education.  It was many years later that his sayings and wisdom became known and then they started building this monument to him.
This room was used to smoke a hooka type machine.

This rock was a sign of good fortune for the home.  It has wrinkles as we do for a human quality.  It has holes to let the rain and the water through.  It is also tall and slim to be noticed.

This narrow passage way was for servants to bring what ever the family needed to the house.

These trees are propped and supported.  I don't remember how old they said they were, but I think it was several hundred years.

So you can see the limbs better of this tree.  Fascinating!

Going through the doorway to another area.

Here is a flowering pomegranate tree.  David showed him a photo of our family because with the many children and grandchildren we have, we are likened to a pomegranate fruit - many seeds together in one fruit.

This three grows on one edge of this arbor and covers most of it, about 20 feet long.  Nice and cool in the shade.

After the residence, we made our way to the burial place.  This is a large area that has lots of trees and lots of headstones.  The only ones who can be buried in this place are direct descendants of Confucius.  The more important ones will have monuments and headstones.  The less important ones have only a mound of dirt to say they are buried there.  We were able to see this rather large area (over 60 hectares) by way of a golf cart.
This is the graveyard that only descendants of Confucius can be buried in.  The more important relatives have a gravestone.  The less important ones just have a mound of dirt.  There are about 100,000 of Confucius descendants located in about 60 hectares.

You were also important if you had animal statues around your tomb.

Must have been a "big shot" here!

This is the monument at Confucius' grave.

We got back to the starting off point at 5 p.m. and then had a long drive back to Jinan.  While we were headed back on the expressway, some woman decided that she needed to take an exit that she almost passed, so she stopped and then started to make her way to turn around!  Right there from the far left lane over to the exit that she had just passed.  We had to slam on the breaks to avoid an accident, but she didn’t care, she needed to get to that exit that she had just passed.  She did make it to the exit without being hit, but I don’t know how she did!  Chinese drivers can be CRAZY!

With the Clarke’s and the Pace’s, we decided to go get dinner at Pizza Hut, so we walked down there after the bus dropped us off and had a good meal.  Then we walked home while they went to the bus stop.  We are tired now.

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