Monday, 17 October 2011


Last night I was treated to a celebratory feast at a restaurant nearby. Nearby here means at least an hours drive ... But as usual it was worth it! As you can see from the pictures the table was groaning with delicacies such as cow tendons ( I'm afraid I passed on that) that Calvin delights in presenting to me as 'very nice'. They keep presenting ever more food and don't understand when I say 'enough' ! I think what I really need now is a good old English roast dinner...

This morning I was up at dawn to catch the locals practise their Tai-Chi. I wandered amongst them snapping away and was completely ignored as they went through there graceful movements in the soft pre-dawn light. No mere stranger with a camera was going to disturb their meditations!

One couple standing well away from the rest, stood as still as statues for a very long time as the sky brightened around them. They could have been asleep so calm they appeared.

As the morning became day, so the calm evaporated as the softness of the light transformed into the glare of a new day. It was now 7.30am and the streets quickly filled with children going to school.

An old man came up and introduced himself. He turned out to be Calvins old history teacher from the local school who then gave us both a quick history lesson about the communist insurgency of the fifties. I was fascinated to learn that the leader of that insurgency came from this very town, and that his family still lived at the same old house around the corner. To this day however, he is still in exile in China. After the Japanese invasion came the communist uprising so the old people here have seen and endured an awful lot that they never talk about.

One relative, a very sweet elderly woman, has the ability to go into trance. In this state she begins to smoke a cigarette (she is a non-smoker) and is able to offer insights to those that ask. In this shot a local woman is in deep conversation with her. Very interesting experience to witness as this is all happens privately so I was honoured not only to be there, but be allowed to photograph what happens. The shots here were only with the iTouch camera, the real ones will have to wait.

Before the trance


The feast (just one of the dishes)

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