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Tea Experience and View

In our second full day in our village stay, we participated in a tea ceremony in the rainy afternoon after an admittedly awkward lunch at our rural home stays. Although our Chinese skills are rapidly improving through being forced to communicate in our environment, the thick accents and constant Naxi speech make it difficult to communicate as much as we hoped for. So, our now limited group time in the afternoon is cherished even more. This activity was one I was apprehensive about as tea was not an acquired taste I possessed. However, I feel the whole group is growing as being outgoing with our Chinese and our action, is as mentioned, necessary in our environment. So, I decided to go for it and give tea a second chance. We walked through the rainy streets of the village to Jackson’s homestay. The group sampled three different varieties of tea, the one from Taiwan was the only I was able to stomach. The native Pu’er tea, to me at least, tasted surprisingly similar to soil although there were some weird comparisons like: lawn clippings, butter, bricks and pineapple. Ben is extremely knowledgeable on tea so we were well led. The tea ceremony, however, was certainly not the highlight of the afternoon, although it was very enjoyable. Following our tea ceremony, or tea time as I call it, we trudged further through the wet mud to a landscape that is certainly not possible to be described by words. A fair amount of the group has traveled to many parts of the world, including myself, and this view was possibly the most breathtaking I have ever laid my eyes on. I’ll describe: We strolled through the main road we have become quickly acquainted with and saw the usual farm, the cars going extremely fast, and the all too often smell of manure. Then, seemingly, as if we were emerging from a tunnel, mountains all around the village sprung up. We had seen mountains at our previous destinations, yet we were surrounded on all sides by luscious green mountains dotted with trees and buildings. The fog and cloud gently met with them to create a beautiful scene. My family and I like to say that beautiful scenes are “postcard pictures” and this view checked all the boxes for that criteria. I hope to see more great views, thanks to all the parents for sending us to see them, zai jian!