Friday, March 20, 2009

Wushan Girls

Transferring from our cruising boat to a smaller tour boat, our Chinese tour took us into the Small Three Gorges. We took lounge chairs on the top deck, where we could look out in every direction, and were given cups of tea. Before even leaving the dock, a whole group of people had come up from their seats below to take pictures as we entered the first gorge.

Among the crowd were two little girls who seemed to have taken a particular interest in our table. At first, we just smiled at them, but then Daddy began asking them questions and chatting about simple topics. They were nine and ten, and from Wushan, the town where we would be spending the night.

After leaving for a few minutes, they came and gave each of us a small card with a calendar on one side and a cartoon picture on the other side. They left and came back again with two cartons of milk, one for Z and one for me.

Eventually, Z and I took a walk downstairs to check out what they were up to. They noticed us on the outside deck and opened up one of the windows so we could climb in. They were sitting at a small glass counter, and had an assortment of papers, and drinks, and snacks laid out in front of them.

When we came in, they showed us that they had water for us when we were thirsty, and fake Chinese money they wanted to give us. The younger of the two even insisted on giving me a silver necklace she had.

Once Z and I were done "shopping," the two of us, along with the girls, went up to the top deck again. I sat back down in my lounger chair, and my two new mei meis (little sisters) pulled up stools so they could ask me questions in Chinese about myself. (Great practice!) I told them about all my favorite things.

Then, I started asking them about their favorite Wushan snacks. This started another conversation that the two girls loved. They told me about all the things they love, where I could get them, and why they were so delicious. The best part was when I let them listen to my iPod, and I put on a famous Chinese song. They were singing Wo Ai Beijing Tian'anmen like they belonged in the choir!

I really had a great time having fun with the two Wushanren, and definitely learned a ton from their sweet little voices about their life on the Yangtze.

~Julie

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