09 July 2006

East Asia Trip Report: Part I

Just returned from a 2 week trip to Asia where we had several opportunities to advance chiropractic awareness, and to learn about the native people and culture. I'm still recovering from jet lag and starting up a new quarter of classes. The best part of the trip is that we made new friends and have a more focused concept of where we're going to move in country within the next year: at least we have it narrowed down to 3 of the largest cities in the world! Below, I've documented highlights from our trip in reverse order. I'll post pictures from Beijing in the follow-up trip report. Enjoy!
Our last night, we had a karaoke party / graduation party for one of our friends. Josh tore it up as Mr. Entertianer.
We made some friends with English majors at the local university. They gave us a tour of their campus, then took on Kristin in ping pong.
The Salt Museum is housed on the grounds of an old opera house. The crude technology for salt mining is the basis for today's oil drills.
We were brought to the world famous Dinosaur museum which houses the largest and most complete collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. This is a family of brontosauruses: Papa, Mama, and baby, although they can't really distinguish the papa from the mama. 80% of the skeletons in the museum's collection are fossils. The museum site was discovered from a dynomite blast on the side of a hill when they were building a parking lot. They found acres of dinosaur remains, but none of the eggs of dinosaurs were in this actual location. One of the 2 major theories for dinosaur distinction that the archeologists tend toward is a large lake or flood theory that led to their ultimate demise.
This particular specimen is from a superasaurus, the largest dinosaur fossil remains found in the world--this one was found in Colorado. They haven't yet discovered a skull to this dinosaur, but I'm sure it's pretty ginormous.
The Director of Foreign Affairs took us to the world famous Dinosaur museum. There was a T-rex ride, complete with an umbrella to keep you shaded while you try to steady the wild best for 8.0 seconds. The sound effects were as chilling as Jurassic Park. Here, Steve has fun trying to roundhouse kick the T-rex.
We visited a foreign language school where the brightest and most talented students of the city attend. Their English was amazing! They sang traditional songs, and western pop songs for us. They asked us to sing for them in return, and I don't think they were too impressed of our rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Afterward, the guys played basketball with the boys, and Kristin tore it up in ping pong. I shot hoops with a few of the gals, but they mostly wanted to talk about American life.
We visited a private school that teaches English to children. Instead of talking about chiropractic, we taught them about life in America, showed them pictures of American life, and played games: duck, duck, goose and telephone. The Joy School made us a really cool sign, then they took us out to dinner afterward. Our favorite dish was definitely the fried watermelon.We were each assigned a class. After 45 minutes, we swapped classrooms and started all over again. This was my first class, and I spent the most time with them. The kids are adorable.

The interpreters decorated the white board in a really cool greeting for us!

After a long trek across the ocean, we were all dying for Chinese massages. Dr. Linda took us to a place where they wash your hair and give you a massage. It was the coolest idea. Instead of sitting in a chair and tilting your head back into a sink, like you do at a U.S. salon, we were lying on our backs on massage tables. The headpiece lifted away into a sink. There was a single head rest support. This was so utterly comfortable and relaxing. The salon stylists and masseuses were so thrilled to have so many foreign clients that they requested a photo with us in front of their logo.Katie had such thick hair that she required 2 stylists to finish drying her hair. She was so relaxed after the massage that she fell asleep.
We ate a traditional dinner at a luxurious 4-star hotel. I love the large lazy Susan on the tables that allows you to easily share dishes and pass the salt and pepper. The chef used only the finest ingredients to prepare our incredible meal. We were treated like royalty during our visit.

The foreign affairs department set up a spinal screening event at a local school--an hour's bus ride along very bumpy roads to the surrounding countryside. The media was out to meet us since they seldom have foreigners in this part of the country. Steve was interviewed on camera while the rest of us were assigned classrooms to speak to students. This was my class of 14-15 year olds. I showed them a model of a spine and told them about chiropractic and caring for a healthy spine. The kids were adorable. They wanted photographs and autographs on their t-shirts. Unbelievable!
We had several opportunities to help in the chiropractic clinic by educating patients, instructing them on rehab, and screening them for care. Dr. Linda adjusts the pelvis of a young boy who has had difficulty walking.
Every morning, we shopped for bottles of icy and sanitary water at this local stand. Water bottles were comparable to $0.50 USD.
A fishing / house boat in the city's river
Hot pot is a traditional fare of a hot oil served with numerous red peppers. Our version was "mild" for "mei guo ren" or Americans. As you can tell, it was swimming with plenty of peppers. Foods are cooked fondue style in the hot and spicy oil. The biggest eating dare of the evening was the "brain" which is being ladled out in this photo.We enjoyed "hot pot" with chicken, beef, rabbit, guts, brain, chicken feet, bamboo, fish meatballs, and other strange delicacies



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like your trip went great. Steve and I reminded each other the whole time to pray for you and your Steve. I'm glad that you all got this experience. Maybe you all could come over and share pictures and stories with us. Praise God for your safe return!
I was searching for something to do with our church and found your blog. God bless you.

Heather Dornan

13 July, 2006 14:20  

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