Day 10 – April 16, 2011
Well, I thought I knew how to play ping pong – I thought wrong! Today we toured the National Ping Pong training center and had opportunity to ‘play’ a little with one of the students. Let’s just say he hit the ball and I chased it! J We also visited the Hebei Folk Museum which included more modern exhibits of Chinese folk art. It is from this museum that many of our small gifts were purchased – the Chinese paper cutting is intricate and beautiful. It is also an art form that students still practice in many of the schools within the Hebei Province. http://www.chinaartworld.com.cn/ You might give it a try, draw a design of your creation, or trace one that you like onto the paper, then cut the design from the paper to create the intricate detail that gives the piece dimension. It’s much harder than it looks – it takes a lot of patience and focus!
Located near the town of Zhengding in Hebei Province is the Longxing Monastery or Temple. Its history as a temple began during the Sui Dynasty, however, due to later expansions, much of the architecture is reflective of the Song Dynasty. The temple houses among other artifacts, a large bronze statue of Buddha and carries with it a long rich history.
The gardens on the grounds of the temple were beautiful – the peach blossoms and lilacs brought back memories of home; I buried my nose into the blooms… The weather in this part of China is very dry; the desert winds often blow into the city. It’s also about 10 degrees warmer than what we would experience for this time of year in Pennsylvania. There is little if any rain during the spring months. With this in mind, what kind of plants and crops do you think would do well in the northern Chinese climate?
You can find out more about this temple at: http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_travel/2003-09/24/content_34549.htm
Later, we visited the Hebei Normal University to tour the Geological Museum. This museum houses a myriad of fossils, gems, and stones. In addition to being a place of interest for the general public, it serves as a learning lab for both university students and public school students.