On Oct. 6, we undertook a miscellany of cultural activities in Nanchong. Andrew S.’s host brother met us in Beihu park for some very public tai ji. Not only was the China West student film crew back with us, but a good-sized crowd of morning park visitors surrounded us as well. Some of the onlookers offered enhancements to what we were doing. Two men wanted to demonstrate how to transfer the force from another person through their bodies to the ground. To do this they asked first one, then two students from our group to try to push them over.
For lunch, we headed back to the Sea Turtle Language Center where we have been holding our weekly group discussions. There several volunteers had assembled to walk us through the steps for making jiaozi (Chinese dumplings). Mixing & kneading dough went relatively quickly compared to the time required to roll out the dough for each individual dumpling. As some of us rolled dough, others began putting the meat-vegetable mixture into and then sealing each dumpling, ready to be boiled. The combined efforts of our instructors and us, resulted in a meal big enough to satisfy everyone present. After lunch, most of us headed in two groups to experience tuina, a traditional therapeutic massage (fully clothed!). Even those who chose against having the “neck adjustment” seemed to sense a more harmonious balance within our bodies following the 35-50 minute sessions.
Friday, the last day of the university holiday, we gathered again for our group discussion. Saturday and Sunday we were back in language classes, beginning our review for the upcoming exam. It is hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of our classes. Next weekend (Oct. 15/16) we head out from Nanchong to our service locations.