stormy1x2: Ruthie babushka dog (Default)
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Here we go! 




Waiting for our luggage in the Kashgar airport. This is a TINY airport but surprisingly well-run.




First meal in Xinjiang.



First look at HALF of our students. I could only get half the room in the shot. ^^ Opening ceremonies about to commence.



Ed and LD setting up for the first assessment test.



Mel was arguably the most popular teacher we had. Her classes were always entertaining. :)



Donald had fun with them during a poetry session.



Ed had no troubles getting them chatting.



Ben had twice the intensity and energy of us ALL. ^^


Back in time for a moment.



The rooms were nice and so were the beds... after I went to everyone's room and stole the 2nd set of comforters and
mattress toppers from everyone. I'm pretty sure Mel has a pic of me running down the hallway, a mountain of bedding over
my head and trailing down my back like a cape, cackling like an idiot. ^^



A famous  - and beautiful - park in Kashgar.



It seemed like everything in that park lit up at night.



This path was underwater and got deeper the further you went - until you reached the middle and it started getting shallower again.



That was literally how far we weer allowed to go by ourselves. We had to have our guide go with us if we
wanted to go any further. That's how seriously our security was taken.
 




First night planning session in Ed's room.



Mel plans her first day.

After a week of non-stop teaching and planning, we were dying to get out. Playing pool in the hotel's connection to the old British Consulate (YEARS ago), helped a bit.



That's about all that's left of it.





So did drinking lots of Kashgar-made wine. I forget the drinking game we played but involved cards, bluffing, and telling people what to do. 
7 people went through like 12 bottles of wine. Pomegranate wine is awesome.


That weekend we got our first excursion. It was to a coffee shop.



I don't drink coffee, but I managed to survive. ;)



At some point, we all got our fortunes told by the little green alien ship.



Our first day trip was to the mausoleums. The temple was gorgeous:






So was the camel. That's his owner/handler behind him. The kid pressed everyone for pics with the camel. There is a pic
floating around somewhere of me edging towards its head - which was HUGE. His muzzle was the size of Ruthie's BODY.




Commoner grave next to the royal family mausoleum



More parks/temples...




Then there was the whole Pumpkin-Gate scandal.


As a treat for being such a gosh-darn good teacher, LD was given a pumpkin by one of the students. She loved that pumpkin and vowed to take it with her on our trip to the tombs. Her pumpkin had a very good day, as is evident from these photos:















When we went back to the hotel, LD told one of the government attache's why she'd been carrying it around. He told her he'd be happy to have the hotel chef fic it up for us for dinner. LD declined and took it to her room.

Then, at dinner, the gov-guy grinned at us and proudly presented us with part of our dinner:



It was LD's pump-kid!!



It was a sad affair, as is evident from those somber faces.



LD told us heart-warming stories of the pump-kids short but well-lived life.



We raised a glass to its memory.




Ed gave a stirring eulogy and then wept bitter tears as he cut into it.



We buried its remains in the rice. A green bean made a suitable headstone.




It was good. Ra-men. :)  More pics of the 2nd half of our trip to come soon. :)


 

February 2013

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