4 July 2005
Happy Birthday to my son Patrick!
Another hot day in China! I went to the train station the first thing after eating breakfast, to buy a ticket to Shanghai on the 6th so that I can make my plane to Qingdao on the 7th. After walking around Yangzhou, I went back to the room to rest until meeting Patricia to go to Daming Temple (Patricia had class with some bankers at a workshop in the morning) — when I walked out in the afternoon, the ground was wet because it had rained, but the sun came out again, and it was unbelievably hot and humid. But we made it out to Daming Temple anyway. The temple at this site has had a history of over a thousand years, but it’s been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. Because of the heat (and the mosquitos that were out in force), the touring wasn’t as fun as the beauty of the temple warranted. But as you can see in the picture above, the weather wasn’t hot enough to deter this young man from getting into an outfit of a Chinese soldier for a picture.
When we walked into the Jianzhen Memorial Hall, Patricia heard a monk practicing English and made a friend. Patricia then talked to him to learn why he wanted to learn English, and helped him with his pronunciation (while he helped her with her Chinese). Jianzhen was a Tang Dynasty monk who went to Japan in the eighth century to help spread Buddhism, who ultimately died there. The Japanese have been active in helping to rebuild parts of this temple because of this historical connection. We then went back to her guesthouse to pack her up for her move to Baoying County, about an hour drive north of Yangzhou City, where she will teach English at a middle school until she needs to leave for Nantong with other Yangzhou University students as part of an Amity educational project.
4 July 2005