Thursday, April 07, 2005

Beijing Snapshot: Very cool architechture. Tomorrow, I will post pictures of us riding rickshaws thru the old part of the city (Hutong District) Posted by Hello

Beijing Snapshots: Oceans of Bikes Posted by Hello

Christy, Brad, Allison and Meredith living up this incredible moment in their lives. Posted by Hello

Tieneman Square was the most amazing thing we saw today. Here we are posing with our tour guide David infront of Chairman Mao's picture Posted by Hello

This what the Chinese Opera actors look like. Traditionally, men play the role of women. Posted by Hello

We got a chance to see these little girls contort themselves into all sort of pretzels and do some physics defying stunts. The students at this school are scouted from all over China. As young as 6 years old, they come to live in the Opera school bording school and study here. Posted by Hello

Christy bravely volunteered to be made up as the Monkey warrior. Gentle Christy looks scary in this make up. She is the first American teenager that the Master make up artist from this school has ever made up! You go Christy!!! Posted by Hello

Today we spent the morning at the world famous Beijing (or Pekin) Opera School. This is where the students train to be Opera actors. It is a very difficult craft that includes acrobatics, elaborate costumes, extreme make up and exaggerated expressions. The children in the picture picture above must learn to stand in that crazy (standing) split position for half and hour at a time.  Posted by Hello

Day 5: Posted by Hello

Today, we were honored to go to the Beijing's most famous master kite maker. We were taught the finer points of Chinese kite making. Master Wang's kites are so amazing, they can fly without wind. Yes, I couldn't believe it until he made his kite fly inside his house. Yeap, I seen it!! He recently went to an international kite competition. All the other competitors were waiting for the wind to pick up and all of a sudden, they saw an eagle kite flying without wind. Needless to say, Master Wang won hands down. Posted by Hello

In traditional (real) Sechuan cooking, the meat is served raw (see raw chicken and beef in the picture). Then you are suppose to toss the raw bite sized pieces of meat into this boiling soup pots that are placed in the middle of the table. The meat cooks within 4 seconds. You then fish out the meat, toss it in some sesame sauce and eat it. Here is Meredith, Christy and Meredith expertly eating Sechuan food. Posted by Hello

We girls are having trouble using the squatting toilets. We call them the squatters. There are everywhere and very difficult to use without getting your socks wet!!! Posted by Hello

This is a short film of what the elderly here call Tai Chi badminton. I am not sure if it will play on the blog since the Chinese government has craked down on all personal websites. I can circumvent the block, but cannot see what I am posting. Posted by Hello

The Temple of Heaven was magnificent!! Sorry, I have not time to say more...I will try to add more details later. Posted by Hello

We got to plant trees at the foot of the Great Wall with our Chinese student friends as a gesture of friendship and colaboration. We planted small pines that will hopefully grow a long time. Posted by Hello

At the magical Great Wall: It was one of the most incredible yet exhausting experiences ever! Posted by Hello

Day 4: Meredith, Zach, Sarah, Pat, Evan and Brad at the Ming tombs Posted by Hello