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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to the Motherland - Exploring Enping

It's been over a year since my Motherland series, and I was inspired earlier this week to continue.  I printed and put together a photo album of my trip ages ago to show my parents.  They kept my album and only recently returned it to me so that I could fill it back up with the photos they had taken.  I want to be able to go back on my blog and recall my awesome adventure.  Here goes the second installment!

When I last left off, I had just gone back to my roots.  I'll continue with my exploration of Enping!

my parents with my mom's aunt -- my grandmother's sister

We went back to my mom's village in hopes of finding her aunt.  We were in luck because she is quite the gambler during the day.  The house was very grand in comparison to the rest of the homes in the area.  My mother's aunt is in her 90s, and she is very lively with lots of energy for her age.

my parents with their friends

It was very important that we visit my dad's friend who lived in the city area.  He was a government worker who played a huge part in my uncle leaving China.  As the story goes, my dad was already in Hong Kong.  He desperately tried to get his brother out of the country to join him, but it was rather difficult at that time.  My dad had a plan, and that involved the help of his government friend who stated that my uncle had a mental condition.  The condition could not be treated within  the country, and it required my uncle to leave for Hong Kong to survive.  The lie worked out, and off my uncle went to join my dad in Hong Kong.  My dad is forever grateful and always visits every year he goes back to Enping.

visiting my grand uncle's family home

I stayed with my grand uncle in Enping, and we spent a day visiting his hometown (my maternal grandmother's original hometown).  It is drastically different from my parents due to the wealth of the village.  It is the home of many scholars who would come back, take care of their families financially, and educate the next generation.  In  the photo above, I especially love the door safety contraption.  Unfortunately it is not fool proof, and there have been attempted home invasions in the past.

The rooms are pretty neat, but they are on the short side.  I'm a good 4 inches taller than the doorway in one of the rooms upstairs.

I love the pretty lush green rice paddy.  This is on a much smaller scale than what you will find in most villages.  Since this is a more scholarly community, there is very little to no farming.

parents enjoy getting weighed in

admiring an extremely old tree

standing in front of a statue/memorial?

admiring our surroundings

My grand uncle's hometown is rich in history and culture.  It is now a tourist attraction, and visitors pay a fee to get in.  Since he is a resident, we did not have to pay for admission.  We spent the whole afternoon walking around, and there was so much to see.  I really enjoyed taking my time and having my grand uncle tell me so many stories. 

spending some time with the zoo animals :)

Next up, we went to the "zoo."  It had one actual live animal in the form of a monkey in a cage.  The rest were statues, which was kind of awkward.  I had never been to a zoo full of animal statues.  I can see the educational benefits for a small town to be able to discover animals, even if they are in statue form.

I wanted to take a picture of my parents and grand uncle.  I turned around, pointed the camera, and told them to pose.  Hehe.

propping the camera on a ledge to take this awesome photo of myself.. haha

memorial dedicated to... *forgets*

The zoo was a tad more than just a zoo.  There were many trails leading to hilly paths, and we ran into a few memorials along the way.  It was a very peaceful walk, especially during the day when kids were at school and parents were working.

Being in a small city, I didn't think there would be much to explore.  My grand uncle really made me feel at home, even if it was a very foreign home for me.  I learned a great deal about where my parents came from, and a lot of things started piecing together and making a whole lot of sense.  This is part of my family history, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go back and learn so much.

Back to the Motherland: Leaving on a Jet Plane
Back to the Motherland: Arriving in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Adventures in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part I
Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part II


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