This morning we drove about an hour out of Xi'an to the Donghan Village. It is a farming village. When the bus stopped our "Ma Ma's" were waving flags and banging drums waiting for us. Our Ma Ma's name is Liu Lu Li. Liu is the family name that comes first. She gave us a lunch of dumplings, crunchy bread, and rice. Then she told us to go to our rooms and nap (for 3 hours). Jill read and I made bracelets. Our room is pretty big but very plain; white sheets, white walls. As we were "napping" we were sweating our butts off. It was stifling hot in our room. Only when it was time to go did Cheryl come in and point out the remote control that turned on the AC.
It was all in Chinese so we had no idea what it was. We went to the town square to meet our kiddos who were playing basketball with the locals. We all jumped on the bus to go pick a peach. Yes, that's right, pick a peach. I guess the program was supposed to be about helping local farmers but the peaches weren’t ripe yet so we were only allowed to pick one. It was kind of useless. We quickly came back to the square and had a giant basketball game which once again we were pitted against Yao Ming replicas way older and taller than us. We got spanked.
Jill, Cheryl and I headed back to our Ma Ma's house for dinner.
It wasn't ready so we sat and tried to talk to Ma Ma for a little while. She had a cheat sheet of English phrases that helped us communicate. She asked us our ages and showed us photos of her family. She has a 10 year old son and a 16 year old daughter. The farmers do not have to follow the one child policy because they live far out of the cities. We decided to take a walk around the neighborhood before dinner. I don't think Ma Ma liked that because she kept a close eye on us. We just took a few photos of the street and local dogs keeping guard. Then Ma Ma told us dinner was ready and called us back.
Now if you know me, you know that I am one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.
So far I have been trooper in China. I have tried lots of things and eaten well at every meal. This was the first time I ran into a problem. The meal was a bowl of rice (fine) and this weird pancake thing that was sort of like a breakfast burrito. It was the shape of a crepe but had green stuff all in it. Ma Ma loaded cauliflower, eggs, onions, peppers and barely cooked potatoes into it. To some this might sound fine, maybe even good, but to me, nightmare. I had a few bites and really couldn't handle it. Cheryl had a plan to eat mine while Ma Ma left the room but she would not leave. She kept piling more on our plates and making another burrito thing. Finally she ran into the kitchen and I quickly switched plates with Jill. It really was pretty funny. She came back and tried to give us more and we had to pat our stomachs to indicate our uninterest in having her make another one. I helped myself to a nice granola bar out of my suitcase when I got back to my bedroom. Again she told us to go take a nap and then head back to the square at 8:30.
I think she is just trying to get rid of us!
When we arrived at the square, the kiddos were all playing basketball, dancing, talking and playing on the playground equipment. There were tons of locals. Apparently they come there every night to interact and get exercise and be healthy. Because we were there, they put on a dance and small show. It was very pretty. I loved watching our kids interact with the Chinese kids. They had a great time playing and talking with them. There was a group of little girls who kept sneaking up on me and tickling my back and running away. One of them had a small dog in her arms and I swear animal cruelty would be all over this one. She was tossing him around like a football. I was cringing just watching her. The fun only lasted an hour and all the Ma Ma's started collecting the students for bed. Our Ma Ma walked us home and taught us how to use the shower and the AC. Tomorrow we fly to Shanghai!