Friday, June 29, 2007


Yargh. As the bloggers among you may note, spending a long time on an entry only to press the wrong button and have it disappear before your eyes is no fun. You know what else is no fun? Being stranded for 4 days because you can't get your stomach to behave. All around frustration, here in Kunming, where I should no longer be. And frustration for you, too, because you would have had a brand-spanking-new entry with pictures and everything tonight if it weren't for my slight-of-hand mistake. Damn you blogger!

I'll try again tomorrow, I guess, but it's going to take a looooong time to redo all that...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Final Picture Post (For the Time Being): Lanping

After this comes some real live text/narrative! I've finally caught the pictures up to where I left off, in Liuku! Hallelujah! So, last step: the first week and a half of my ISP (Independent Study Project), in Lanping, China:

Some lovely countryside where I was stranded for an hour and a half while waiting for an accident to be cleared off the tiny road on the way to Lanping

A dragon gate at a temple near Lanping

View from the top of the temple

Lanping isn't so much in a valley as it is plunked down between two mountains

Dancing in the square

Some of my Lanping friends

Young Bai child on a Lanping street

Children playing on a waterfall in Lanping park

Pumi women in Lanping park

Bai woman working in the Lanping marketplace

A bowl of chicken feet at the market place

Tania with the little mountain of junk food we took on our picnic

View from mid-stream in the little river I fell into on our picnic

Playing "bu shi" at the teahouse

Lanping at night

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Picture Post 8: Tibet or Not Tibet, That is the Question. Then, Lijiang.

The second to last stop on our field trip tour was Zhongdian, just outside the borders of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and actually a part of Tibet, culturally speaking.

The Yangtze River on the road to Zhongidan as it begins its almost 3000 mile journey to Shanghai

Songzanlin monastery, outside Zhongdian. Modeled after the Potala Palace in Lhasa

Inside the monastery

View from the roof of the monastery

A lone stupa at the end of the Songzanlin complex. One of my favorite pictures from our whole two week trip.

View looking out from under the stupa

Tibetan orphans and their caretaker (in everyday Tibetan dress) at the orphanage in Zhongdian

The lamasery we went to outside Zhongdian was sometimes nothing but a forest of prayer flags on a mountain flank

Sutras carved into the rocks at the lamasery

Looking at this picture of a dog I saw in Zhongdian, you might be moved to ask: "What the heck? Are that dog's eyebrows painted on?" And the answer would be: yes. Yes they are.

Then came Lijiang, a disappointment over all and mostly an opportunity to experiment with how many orifices I could leak out of at once. Not the best end to a field trip.

A Naxi Dongba priest performing a ceremony for us in the park

Naxi Dongba script (the only ideographic--meaning each symbol represents one idea a la heiroglyphics--writing system left in the world) on a No Smoking sign

The Naxi Ancient Music Orchestra in Lijiang

Next stop: ISP!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Picture Post 7: My Sideng Homestay and the Friday Market

We spent 4 days in Sideng, Shaxi valley several hours outside of Dali:
(Also, a note about current blogging practices: as I will be leaving to head back to Nujiang within the next few days, I'm currently trying to get as many pictures up as possible. If people would prefer I return to an at least partly narrative approach before I'm back in Nujiang, I'm perfectly willing. Just leave me a comment by clicking on the postcard link below, or drop me an email)

Really not doing the view of the Shaxi valley justice on the hike down Shibaoshan

The inn where I stayed in my "rural" homestay in Sideng

My Bai host parents

The traditional compound Mike and John stayed in in Sideng

"I you'sed a ho this morning!"-- working in the fields with John's host dad

The Sideng Friday market, against a dramatic backdrop

Faces at the market

Mmmm, fresh snake

My photographic obsession with Yi minority people

Beautiful children of undetermined minority descent at the market

Friday, June 22, 2007

Picture Post 6: Dali and Shibaoshan

Part two-ish of our province field trip-- a night in the backpacker haven of Dali and then a night in the only place I've ever stayed with no running water, a monastery on the mountain, Shibaoshan, where ancient grottoes in the cliffs house altars and I got pickpocketed by a monkey

A Dali street

Sunlight on the Dali mountains

The famous Dali pagodas

Temples tucked into the cliff and a waterfall at the Shibaoshan grottoes

An old altar in the grottoes of Shibaoshan

The Shibaoshan monkeys

The view across the valley from the monastery