This was either a really sweet woman holding a bird or she was mentally disturbed. Either way she had an amazing smile.
One day we went out on the lake to watch cormorants fishing. It was really amazing - we thought they would have restrictive cuffs around their throats and be tied to the boat with strings, but these birds were totally free to fly away and they were actually trained to stay with the boat. We were out on the lake for about half an hour and they caught two fish - quite large! Check it out...
After we got back on dry land they let us hold the cormorants on our arms. They were really heavy! Then we were served a huge and amazing lunch for 10 kuai each (about $1.25). There were about 15 dishes and most were pretty tasty except for the fish which was absolutely disgusting according to Eric. It tasted like the mud at the bottom of the lake.
On our walk back to the Linden Centre we stopped in at this beautiful compound. There was no one around, just the guards at the front, and Ling Ling got them to let us in to wander around. It was some sort of military place I think, but no one was there that day.
We came upon this group fishing on the lake. They were catching these little tiny white translucent fish with tiny black eyes like black sesame seeds. Ling Ling bought a kilo because Ji Ji likes them for breakfast. Eeew.
The crops grown in this area are garlic, broad beans, canola, and rice. They do everything by hand. They are out in these fields cutting little handfuls of greens off - no equipment but a blade whatsoever.
Badminton in the courtyards at the Linden Centre was a favorite activity of the kids when we weren't out and about. There were a bunch of kids staying there at the same time we were - three adorable Dutch girls and three French boys whose family lives in Shanghai. Right near the end of our week a family came from Belgium with four kids between one and five I swear. They were noisy so I'm glad we didn't overlap too much with them!