On our 6th day in China we started off another day at Paul’s factory. At the factory we got to enjoy pretty much a feast for breakfast. After that we headed to a meet a provincial official that Paul’s mother is friends with. He then took us to a museum where we learned about Buddhism, and we got to see someone’s death crystal from a long time ago. If you were very pure, when you died your ashes would turn to a crystal. We then went to eat at an Halal restaurant for lunch, where we ate a lot of lamb. At lunch we ate with a few people form Paul’s moms factory who we got to ask questions with which was pretty cool.

The people we ate lunch with drove us all the way to the edge of city before seeing us off. This was strange to me, but then Mr. Fritz explained to us that if someone is not important you would just say good bye in your house and they would leave. If someone is important you would walk them to the door, if someone is very important you would walk to there car and wave them goodbye. For us though they drove an extra hour and a half to see us off at the edge of the city which was pretty crazy.

We then traveled another two hours to a smaller city called Jinzhou, which is Paul’s home town. We dropped off our luggage in Paul’s apartment where we would spend the night. We headed off to Paul’s uncle house to have dinner, which consisted of lamb, shrimp, chicken, and clams. It was a traditional Chinese BBQ. We enjoyed the food very much, but we stopped to notice something that happened during every meal, whether it was breakfast lunch or dinner, there was always food left over on the table. This made us realize that Chinese people’s generosity with extra food occurred in food no matter where we were, Beijing, Paul’s mom’s factory, or a small city, Jinzhou.

The most fascinating thing we’ve seen today was when we went to the park where people did all kinds of activities. From soccer to Latin dancing, the park was simply alive and optimistic. I say that because everyone did whatever they liked to do without being self-conscious about what people thought of them, the whole society is based on finding a group that likes exactly the same thing you like a join them without the fear of getting judged like a person would feel in other various countries. After spending time at the park we drove home, feeling exhausted as usual, to rest before being ready to tackle tomorrow like we always do.

One response to “Alive and Optimistic”

  1. jbyersccs Avatar

    You guys are really eating your way through China! Mrs. Byers and I can’t wait to get there, see old and new friends, enjoy visiting and seeing some of the sights, too. From your writing (again, congratulations on writing regularly and thoughtfully about this trip!!!) we can tell that you are thinking deeply about communities, families and relationships. You are keen observers and thinkers.

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