Friday early evening, 9/10, somewhere in Henan Province, China, Just gave up on drying my laundry in my room, so took my tree climbing throwline which I brought as a clothes line and took it out to the trees for some different kind of tree rigging.Â My roommate, Janet, and I now have our underwear hanging out in the grove just outside the building here at the fishing villa resort.
We are located about a half hour drive from Chen Village, so this morning after practice and breakfast, we 13 plus loaded into the bus and headed for the birthplace of Taijiquan.Â We had just parked outside the shrine entrance when Zhu Tiancai appears walking toward us.Â We had hoped to be able to arrange some sort of get together with him at some point, but to meet in the middle of the lane was such serendipityâ€¦Â We took a stroll with him down through the famous drainage ditch of Chen Village, passing old men training young men along the path, stopped to do a little demonstration for the Grandmaster (insert bug eyes here) and of course got the feedback that we work hard and need to keep practicing.Â Then we continued on down the ditch and up the path to where his house is being reconstructed.Â It was so cool, he gave us a personal tour of his new home and training spaces.Â This was all before even touring the shrine and museum.Â Â Â We completed the tour, including having some of his students from Venice who were staying there forÂ a month of study, demonstrate for us, and then went on with our tour of the villageâ€™s shrine to Taijiâ€™s origins and ancestors.
We were given a personal tour through the halls and temple and grounds and museum taking pictures and paying our respects, and then went on to a tailorâ€™s shop and were measured for custom Qipao outfits.Â Exhausted by the humidity and the heat and the long morning, we headed to lunch which turned out to be another banquetâ€¦Â I head down to the hall for dinner here shortly and am looking forward to more of a family dinner again.Â The place where we are staying, not only catches and serves you fresh carp, but is also an organic farm that serves you all the vegetables they are growing.Â So far this trip has been an amazing journey. And I havenâ€™t even been here a week.Â Hydration and rest are the biggest difficulties.Â But so far my gut is in good shape and I am staying healthy.
Yesterday we went to Yun Tai Mountain which is a national heritage site and hiked down through the red rock gorge and up to the Grand Waterfall.Â Imagine Yosemite and the Rock Wonders of Utah together on steroidsâ€¦Â I canâ€™t even begin to describe the awe of this place.
Anyhow, time for supper, so I better close. I will send this off tomorrow or once I have an internet connection again.