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Friday, February 27, 2004

Nee How,

I am in Chengde. I have been sightseeing several of the different temples that are located here. My legs
and feet hurt greatly after climbing up the sides of Mountains. I have beem taking the bus to the nearest
drop off point, but then you have to walk about a mile to the bottom of the temples and climb up a mile long steep hill to get to the top. The are truly stunning. Most of them look similar to the ones that Jane and Melissa went to in Korea, but they are different designs. Some are round and others are rectangular.
They all have differend Gods in them. The Gods are all very colorful. Most of the temples in Chengde are the origionals. They were not destroyed by the Cultural Revolution. You can tell as well. The statues and
structures look so delicate and ornate. There are eight main temples that surround the city. Several within it, and the summer resort. I am getting an annual pass to the summer resort. It is a huge complex where people go work out and stroll through the Gardens. It is the worlds largest gardens. Part of the Great wall passes through here, and it is very beautiful. There are Pagodas and large ornate temples on spring fed lakes. You can rent boats and take out on the water. The temples that surround the city are all done in a different style. One of the Emperors built exact Replicas of different sect's temples located around China. The Tibetan Temple is an exact Replica of the major temple in Lahasha. It is a site to see. I went Mountain climbing yesterday to one of the fortresses on the side of the cliff. It was stunning although I had to climb of some very steep and icy stairs to get to it. However, when I arrived, it was something to behold. The markets here are also unbelievable. People everywhere hocking clothes and other items on the side of the road. They lay out there blankets then spread there goods on them and start selling. It is insane. There are thousands of vendors all over the city. People with there carts of fruit selling to people. You can get breads, nuts, grain, toys, clothes, they will make you shoes, cook you food. Anything for dirt cheap. I have come to see that they do eat cat. They fry it whole. When you walk buy the street vendors, the fried cat is one of many delicatesants that you can eat. Some of the things look good, but I am reluctant to buy as I do not know what I will be getting. China is also junkfood central. Chineese people range in every size just like Americans. There youth is also sufferent from the problems with fast food. They just have to easy an access to street vendors and bakeries. No McDonalds here. This I like. I did see some seafood jello today which looked very unapealing. Noting like having shrimp and squid jelly. There bakeries are spectacular. They have every kind of sweet bread and cake that you could imagine. It is an intresting experience so far. I did learn from several of the Chinees English teachs that all of my students can read and write English fluently. They just need to work on their oral English in order to help there pronunciation. They have given me a lot of leeway with how I structure my classes. There are eight classes a week that will meet for two hours at a time. My students are primarily English nursing students. Talked with a lot of the professors yesterday, and it is going to be a lot of fun. I am very excited. That is about all the news for now. China will not let me use Blog, so I may need you [Jane] to post my messages.

Thanks,
Christopher

(posted on behalf of Chris by
Jane, blog guru)


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