SONYA’S HOUSE, CHINESE NEW YEARS: Day 155, Friday January 31 2014

Happy Chinese new years! We had more dumplings for breakfast. Sonya got the lucky dumpling. She’d put a milk candy in one instead of meat mix. She said it wasn’t very good! Sonya made sure we drank our dumpling water, as apparently it is good luck.

Sonya’s house is very busy today, people keep going in and out, and bowing to the dead. Sonya’s mother tries to force candy and smokes on anyone one that enters. Paige keeps trying to feed us candy, but I am way too full, and keep sneaking it back into the basket when she’s not looking.

Paige was a very happy little girl today. Everyone that came in the door would hand her a 100 RMB bill! When Sonya’s mother gave her one, Sonya and her sisters jumped up and rushed over to her with their hands wide open shouting something like “me next, me next!” in Chinese. Their mom just swatted them away.

After a while Sonya brought us to the heated bedroom to watch a show. I think she’d had enough of answering questions about us and was trying to hide us away.

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Lunch was a feast! Chicken, cicadas, bean sprouts, dumplings, celery mushrooms, and a large fish. We ate till we were stuffed and then were forced to eat some more.

Nate and I went for a walk around town to help digest after we finished eating. When we got back Selina had pulled out some badminton rackets. We hit a birdie around in the yard. Paige was on stray ball duty and would sprint off to get any ball that flew out of reach. She thought it was hilarious when the ball was hit over the wall, and she’d run off to get it giggling maniacally.

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Later we went exploring with Sonya and her family. We walked back along the lake, this time Nate and I got up on the wall with Paige. When we came upon a big gap, Nate lifted Paige across, then turned to me and to great gales of laughter from the girls below lifted me across as well. When we reached the end of the wall Sonya’s older sister helped her daughter, Paige to the ground. Well I held my arms out expectantly, but she just doubled over in laughter and refused to help!

We climbed the small boulder mountains that stood over the lakes. The rocks were all grainy and lumpy. Nate commented that they looked like oatmeal cookies, and then I really wanted to eat oatmeal cookies… Nate rock climbed to the top of a boulder that stuck out over the mountain and did some “Grafiki” poses.

We took some goofy pictures, and then headed towards home to work on more dumplings for dinner. We stopped to check out some dances that were going on around the corner. Sonya grew uncomfortable again as she informed us that everyone was talking about us again. We were too busy scaring the children to mind much.

We brought out the christmas crackers that had arrived to late for Christmas. I have some awesome pictures of everyone wearing paper crowns!

We visited more relatives after dinner, one of which we made the mistake of eating the sunflower seeds, which were very stale. Ended the night once again in the hot room playing cards with Paige. Called it an early night once we started to drift off.

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