Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pictures from the Village

This is Mindy holding Danny & Grandpa Jerry holding Kaya on the train ride to Guangzhou. Though younger, Danny is bigger and also has a much bigger, louder cry, which he did decide to share with the fellow passengers on the train. They couldn't verbally share their opinion, but we did get a few glares. He finally fell asleep for most of the train ride.

This picture is meeting Matt's great aunt and uncle for the first time. They were at our hotel in Kaiping (a city about 35 minutes away from the village) awaiting our arrival. Matt was feeling quite tall much of the trip. Danny was on his best behavior whenever he met relatives. The other picture with great uncle and Danny was taken the next day. Despite the heat, Danny was in good spirits. Great Uncle kept giving me a thumbs up about Danny. I think he was happy to see such a chubby boy. Danny's hat is on in this pictures, but a few minutes later one of Jerry's cousins gave me a frown and took it off. She wiped off his sweaty head and then used the hat to fan him. I was trying to protect his face from the sun, but I guess she knew best.

In the house Jerry was born in. He lived here until he was about 3 years old. The house still belongs to Bill, Jerry's father and nobody else lives in it. The roasted pig and feast were all part of a ceremony to show respect to various gods and ancestors, including Jerry's deceased mother (whose brother we were visiting). The pig and feast and incense moved around depending who we were remembering. Each time every visiting family member would bow to the feast, then bow with money. After all had shown respect, the money was burned (it was fake money) as an offering. This house was very primitive with wood burning stoves and no running water. Great Uncle and the cousins homes were identical with just a few slight changes. Still a wood burning stove and thin curtains for doorways, but a TV. 2 brothers and their families under one roof, but everyone has cell phones. Interesting!

Walking through the alleys in the village. All the women really liked Danny and made sure he had plenty of shade in the hot day. This is the wife of uncle's fourth son. Danny warmed right up to her and she held him much of the morning. She has one older son herself.

Outside the village showing our respect to the village god, who watches over the village. Everyone brought umbrellas to help battle the heat. It was probably 80-85 degrees, but 90-100% humidity. Matt and I felt right at home, but in Houston we rarely stay out in that heat more than 5 minutes.

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