China June 2011: We’ve Arrived!

Outside of their service work, GSP team members spent 1.5 hours of mountain walking and visited Guizhou Miao unique batik workshop. The group then traveled to Kaili for a visit to experience local folk customs.
(Qi Gao p’10)

The group visited the Guizhou batik museum today. Batik is a traditional art form still practiced today in ethnic minority areas in southwest China’s Guizhou area. It is used to decorate scarves, weiyao, skirts, leggings, umbrellas, and pillow coverings. Each ethnic group has unique batik style.

After visiting the batik museum, the group traveled to Kaili by bus. Kaili is a city in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, in which a significant population of Miao and Gejia live. The city hosts more than 120 Miao festivals throughout the year. The arts and crafts of the Miao, including jewelry, embroidery, brocade, batik, and paper cutting, are world renowned.
(Jimmy Ren p’11)

June 27, 2011

The Wanggongmiao maintenance work continues, with the repair work in progress. We start painting the walls and the façade, and Wanggongmiao begins to transform.
(Qi Gao p’10)

Today the group continued its work at the Wanggong Temple house renovation. All group members were very much involved, and enjoyed what they were doing. However, they seemed not quite accustomed to using squat toilets.

A squat toilet is used by squatting, rather than sitting. There are several types of squat toilets, but they all consist essentially of a hole in the ground. The only exception is a “pedestal” squat toilet, which is the same height as a standard flush toilet. It is also possible to squat over standard Western pedestal toilets, but this requires extra care as they are not specifically designed for squatting.
(Jimmy Ren p’11)

June 26, 2011

Members of the GSP were actively involved in maintenance of local Wanggongmiao. They carried out pouring of cement, handling, cleaning, and a series of manual labor tasks. Their work was covered by a local television news video team, which was broadcast that night.
(Qi Gao p’10)

June 25, 2011

Members departed for Jichang village, Anshun, to start their voluntary service activities. They visited Guiyang Jiaxiu we along the way, and Guizhou in the local characteristics of the Chinese taste. They experienced the afternoon rush in Jichang village, and arrived in the evening.
(Qi Gao p’10)

George School’s Global Service Program China 2011 started with Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China on Jun. 25th. Ren Xinxing ’11 joined the group at the hotel, and then they visited a famous scenic spot of Guiyang, the Jiaxiu Pavilion that was built in the 26th year (1598) of the reign of Wanli, Ming Dynasty.

The Pavilion straddles a huge turtle-like rock in the Nanming River in the south of Guiyang City. An imperial inspector, Jiang Dongzhi, built the pavilion and named it Jaixiu because he believed the people in Guiyang were the most talented in world. The pavilion and some other buildings around it combine to form a harmonious scenic architectural complex, customarily known as “Eight Scenes of a Mini West Lake.”

It is a three-storied building 20-meter-high with three eaves and a pointed top, containing carved windows and red lattices and upturned eaves on all sides. In this pavilion, there is a collection of stone engravings, calligraphy works, paintings and woodworks by ancient artists. Among them, there is a long antithetical couplet with 206 characters written by Liu Yushan, a member of the Imperial Academy from Guiyang, in the Qing Dynasty, which has 26 more characters than that one in Daguan Pavilion in Kunming, which claims to be the longest one in the world.

After a vegetarian lunch, the group went to Jichang Village, Anshun. Jichang Village is home of the Tunbao people, one of the groups of people from the Han nationality. (Tunbaoren, in Chinese, means descendants of stationing troops.) According to historical data, they are the descendants of the stationing troops in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who were ordered by the Ming emperors to station in Southwest China. They settled down there and took up farming and were seldom disturbed by outside visitors.
(Jimmy Ren p’11)

Friday, June 24, 2011

After more than ten hours of flight and road bumps, George School’s GSP (Global Service Program) China 2011 members arrived in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, China.
(Qi Gao p’10)

I just spoke with Erin Sio from the Guiyang airport. They have arrived safe and sound and have been in touch with their Chinese guide who is there to pick them up.
(Pauline McKean)

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