Here are the three amigos of my stay at the farm. That’s Stephane, the Belgian guy on the left and Nik, the Russian guy, on the other side. This was the day of the celebration where many of the surrounding villagers came for a celebration dinner and our job was to play security guard around the farm. It was always fun to spend time with these guys, especially when we found out that we all liked Indiana Jones, so we would all sing the song before drinking their local liquor or really with anything the three of us would do together.


The three amigos went out to jam by the lake. We switched instruments between a guitar, harmonica, and drum. I lucked out that those three were the only ones I have any kind of experience with. These guys are a much different story. We eventually got interested in making sounds with anything we could find around us. We were shaking tree branches, blowing into partially filled beer bottles, and even trying to incorporate peeing into the lake. Everyone else thought we were drunk, but we were much closer to being stone cold sober. Our giggling and craziness, including these boxes on our heads, is just a sign of great friends. I’m going to miss these guys.


The woman is Nik’s wife. Contrary to the box head picture, this was after quite a lot of wine. It was Stephane’s last night, so things got really silly. It started Indiana Jones themed and then somehow turned into an Ace Ventura inspired craziness.


Here’s one from the National Park I forgot to include. I guess the locals put these tiny sticks to support these giant boulders as a way of asking for luck to have a strong back for tomorrow. Since they carry heavy baskets, supported only by one strap that comes up around their head, they have a big problem with strained back muscles. Ugh, duh, I could bring one Ghanaian woman here and fix their entire issue.


I love to read signs and try to figure out the characters. This one is especially fun because it has a picture. Okay, I know right off the bat that the first two characters say to be careful, which matches the bright yellow and maybe even the triangle shape. The last character means place or location. Although, I have no idea what the third character is and thanks to Chinese, I have little resources to find out other than asking someone. I’m too stubborn for that so let’s try. Well judging by the picture, it’s telling me to be careful of giant penguins sneezing out wheelbarrows…on top of clouds? Yeah, that’s definitely it. I’m good at this Chinese thing, aren’t I?


Today, it seems as though everyone has left the farm. I decide to leave a day earlier to see a friend in Chengdu, so I’m in the middle of drying my clothes when one of the Aunts comes in and tells me to hurry and help something before the rain starts. I hop into the back of this cart thing with the other volunteers to find a pile of knives. This pose then came about naturally. On the way to our destination, we were all joking about fighting for our farm in a cross-village knife fight. Then Nik said maybe we will go down and rob someone at the market and yell “give me one kilogram of those apples!” By the time we stopped we had gone through all the  possible silly situations we could imagine and my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. We got out to cut the roots off some vegetables to collect for dinner. Well that was way more boring, our ideas were much more creative.


In Chengdu, I saw this three wheeled vehicle carrying all this crap and it’s little brother crammed in up there. Definitely a safe move.


I also saw this sign in an outlying suburb of Chengdu. They are advertising expanding their green spaces in this quickly-expanding hi-rise city. I’m glad to see children playing, but it’s really dangerous for them to be sitting around a golf course. Especially when there’s a possibility of me playing there. Talk about having no clue what these two activities actually look like in practice.


This is a picture of my first time going through the farm back in October. Rolling out the lawn in China. Never thought eh first time I’d do this would be here.


Also from the wall building day back in October. I thought this one was a nice display of cross-cultural communication. Except that I was telling him that if he bends over a little I have to stick my butt out and fold in half. Okay, it was close enough.




One thought on “

  1. Nice pictures! You are a dork with your ace ventura hair! And you are wrong about the sign. It means beware of cheese penguins that sneeze/launch upside down olympic cannonballers. How could you not see that?

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