The upside to being a foreign teacher is meeting other foreign teachers. That is also the down side. My adoptive home is China but many of the other foreign teachers haven’t and is the time of year I have to say goodbye to new teacher friends.
Nena, Emily, Sarah, Jennifer, Myrna, Darrin, Edith, Rick, Amos, Tom, Murray and his wife Marjorie have either gone or will be going soon to return to their home countries. A few will return next year but many will not.
In the last few weeks before the mass exodus begins I along with four other foreign teacher friends Nena, Tom, Murray, and Marjorie: traveled to Gongyi 巩义. We saw Shiku si (temple) 石窟寺 a Buddhist temple very similar to Longmen Grottoes Longmen shiku 龙门石窟 in Luoyang 洛阳. Shiku si was just on a smaller scale. I love the pagoda style gazebos and saw another here. I also find the inlaid stone pathways very beautiful in design and intricacy. We then went to Kang Bai-wan’s Mansions and those had wonderful gardens. Funny I’m not good with house plants but I love to see well designed gardens. There was one beautiful garden from ground level but it was stunning when you looked down from the windows of the mansion!
We ate lunch with our driver and tour guide then went to a mausoleum of Northern Song Dynasty Emperors. That was massive. Sadly, this was the last day in Zhengzhou for Murray and Marjorie as they headed back to New Zealand the next day. Tom would soon be off to his next teaching job in China.
Nena and I took a trip to Xinmi 新密 where we saw Han dynasty tombs, much older than the Song Dynasty tombs. The newer of the two tombs had colorful frescos painted on the walls. We were able to take pictures of all that we saw. The sky was a beautiful shade of blue which contrasted nicely with the green of the pine trees that we saw there. Next we took a walk down the main street of old Xinmi city. Our tour guide cautioned us to stay on the main street and not go down side alleys…WE DON’T LISTEN and we found some delightful out of the way places. We then saw two temples both Taoist. While we could see both of them the city government was refurbishing the second so we could only look at the construction. I hope to go there one day once it is finished. I saw another pagoda style gazebo there and I’m very excited to go back and see the other improvements. We ate lunch with our driver and tour guide. Our driver is from the old city of Xinmi and our tour guide is from the new city of Xinmi. After lunch we stopped by to see Sky, or tour guides family. And after that we went to the Yellow River Scenic Spot or huang shi gong fengjingqu 黄市宫风景区. Here we were able to see the Yellow River and another Taoist temple.