We flew into Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province the evening of February 28th. We stayed the night at a hotel right next to the train station. The next morning, we departed on a train to Duyun, which is a large city in Guizhou. The scenery on the ride was gorgeous. As the train continued up into the mountains, the colder it got.
In Duyun, we met up with our hosts, bought rubber boots and work gloves, and ate at different places around the city. Four of us that ate at a Cantonese style restaurant with a larger group were put into a taxi, and we met up with four others that are from our group at the old train station. China Tim, me, Quin, Tiana, Steph, Kristin, Kayli, and Aubrey got on a bus that would take us out of the city limits to meet up with the rest of our group. On our way up the mountain, the bus got a flat tire. We stopped to get it changed, and we were on our way again. Farther up the mountain, we stopped again. Oil was leaking. Nothing could be done, so we waited until another bus came and picked all of us up. We got off at the next stop and piled into the two vehicles. Six of us jumped in the back of the truck and rode in the back (Me, Quin, Jesse, Chase, Tiana, and Tim) up to the ranch.
The family we stayed with raised Angus cattle. For the next few days, we helped out with whatever they needed done. A couple of the guys shoveled manure, there was a group that worked on the road, and there was a group of us that did posts. They are going to be planting blueberries, so we worked to get the fence posts into the ground. First, we had to dig up the posts out of one field and transport them to the other field where the blueberries were going to planted. After that, we dug the holes for the posts. And just so you all realize what we were doing when we were digging these new holes, some of them were easy to dig. On the flipside, our last hole was the worst. It took us over an hour to dig it. We had to sledgehammer and pickaxe through rock. It was a lot of fun though. It kept us busy. There was a group that mixed cement, and then we cemented the poles into the ground.
Working was great. And better yet, it kept us warm. It was definitely below 0 degrees Celsius. I’m not sure what the actual temperature was. Keep in mind, no central heating. Working kept us warm, and drinking hot water was wonderful. Ok, cold in the States…no. You can go inside and get warm again. In China, you know it’s cold when you can see your breath INSIDE.
I had a blast though. Yes, it was cold. And yeah, no showers. But I really enjoyed getting to see another side of China. The mountains are a gorgeous place. We hiked to the edge of their property and got to see the waterfall. So beautiful.
I got some pictures on the truck ride back down the mountain, too. Riding in the back of the truck down the mountain was so cold. All our faces were red from the wind, and they stung from the mist hitting any exposed skin.
Saturday, March 3rd, was when we came back down the mountain. We got to spend the day in Duyun. Me, Janelle, Daniel, Will, and Russ (one of the guys that works with our hosts) walked/hiking up the east mountain to the monastery up there. We walked around the town and met some of the cutest kids who hung out with us all for a while.
At the end of the day, we rode the train back to Guiyang and stayed at the hotel for the night again. The next morning, we flew to Xi’an for our history component, which is where I am at now. I’ll post some about Xi’an later.