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塞夫琳十二天中国纪行 Twelve Days in China(5)

DayEight to dayNine:Seegiant pandas and meet the monkey king

 

□ Time:  June the 21st to Junethe 22nd, 2016

□ Location:Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Dujiangyanand Qingcheng Mountain

□ Reporter: Wang Meiling

 

The trip of Chengdu was organized by ChinaInternational Travel Service (CITS).

I, together with the translator and thephotographer flied from Beijing to Chengdu to meet Seveline and David, who camefrom Changsha in the evening of the 20st.

It rained heavily during the night, and theweather was cool and moist on the next morning. As one of the major bases forthe preservation of rare animals in China, Chengdu Research Base of Giant PandaBreeding was located north of Chengdu on the Futou Mountain. It was inhabitedby other endangered species of wildlife, including red pandas, black-neckedcranes, white storks, swans, wild geese and peacocks

The base was immense, and the zigzaggingpaths are beautifully flanked with bamboos. Instead of travelling on foot, ourguide arranged a tourist bus for us. We went straightly to the sun nurseryhouse (the shape of facility looked like the sun) in the center of the base,and then visited the surrounding places such as the moon nursery house and thered panda enclosure. It saved much time this way.

There were a lot of foreign tourists, manyof whom were traveling in groups. Obviously the giant pandas were very popularinternationally. We heard some “wows” when we almost walked past the sunnursery house. Following the crowd, we saw a cute giant panda eating bamboos.It was lucky for us to catch that moment with the camera. Seveline kept takingpictures of the giant panda with her cellphones. We tried every way to put herin the same frame with the adorable creature. My portable tablet was used as aprop: the photographer took pictures of her holding it to take pictures of theanimal.

On our way out of the base, Seveline andDavid talked about the wildlife preservation in Kenya. We agreed that in Chinaas well as Kenya, more people should actively take part in this cause. A goodworld should be a world where humans and wildlife co-exit harmoniously.

We left the base and headed for downtown tohave lunch, where Seveline gave me a bracelet made with purple flowers. Shethanked me for my company and consideration for her.

The next stop was Dujiangyan. Located inthe Min River, the city was called the County of Guan (Guan means pouringwater) in ancient times. There were many elegant classic buildings on thepedestrian street in the old town.

When we walked onto the southern bridge, a “MonkeyKing” approached and begged Seveline to take picture with him. Some localpeople made a living by putting on costume and playing a figure from legends.Seveline loved the Monkey King. She wielded his weapon the golden hooped rodand posed for the camera. We told her that the Monkey King was a character fromJourney to the West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chineseliterature.

Led by the tour guide, we visited threemain constructions of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System: the fish mouth (adiversion embankment), Feishayan (a sediment and flow spillway) and Baopingkou(an irrigating gate). With the grand engineering project that had been operatedfor 2000 years, the Min River became a raging torrent here, creatingmagnificent scenery.

Seveline became much more relaxed and grewquite close to us after all these days. When she spotted a refreshment boothnear the fish mouth, she offered to buy everybody ice cream. It was ten yuaneach. Having no idea of the price, she took out twenty yuan from a red envelopand asked me to buy six ice creams. I told her to catch up with everyone elseand wait for me ahead.

This was the first time that Sevelineoffered to give us a treat and insisted to pay, as a gesture of friendship.Without mentioning the price, I bought the ice creams and told everybody thatit was a treat from Seveline, to say thank you for our help.

I remembered that when she arrived inBejing the first day, she was a little lost. Then there seemed to be the “timelag” in our communication. Now she fit in perfectly, even making jokes now andthen.

At 8 am on the 21st, we left our hotel inDujiangyan for Qingcheng Mountain.

As one of the four famous Taoist mountainsin China, Qingcheng Mountain was enrolled into the UESCO World Heritage List in2000. With steep trails, lush woods and rolling hills, it was equal to itsreputation as one of the most secluded places in the world.

We climbed up the steps and visitedShangqing Palace and Sanqing Palace. Seveline asked some questions about Taoismon the way. We told her that just like Buddhism, Christianity and Islamism,Taoism was also a religion, but originated in China. She quite liked thepalaces and pavilions and took a lot of pictures. Qingcheng Mountain was thelast stop for Seveline in Sichuan before we went back to Beijing.

Being on a tight schedule, we weretravelling from one place to another without much rest, and Seveline was alittle exhausted. So we needed to cheer up when taking pictures. “Smile”, wewould say to her, which became a joke between Seveline and David. “Smile,Kabiru! ” She often teased him.

Day 10: Temple of HeavenYearning So Long

 

□ Time:  June the 23rd, 2016

□ Location: the Temple of Heaven, Kenya Embassy in China and theSummer Palace

□ Reporter: Wang Meiling

 

We returned to Bejing in the evening on the22nd and planned to go to the Temple of Heaven the next morning.

We visited the temple in a hurry on the16th, and the photos taken were not very satisfactory. So we decided to goagain.

At 8:30am. I, the photographer and Sevelinearrived at the Temple of Heaven. We took our time to walk around and visit manyplaces.

The Temple of Heaven was firstlyconstructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of the Ming emperor Yongle, andrenovated in Qing Dynasty. It was the place for the emperors to hold annualceremonies of prayer to heaven for good harvests. There were many places ofinterest in the complex, such as the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, theImperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Alter.

One of the photos Seveline had uploaded toher Facebook page before she ever came to China showed her “standing” in frontof the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests with other tourists. We wanted to makeit real this time and asked a group of tourists passing by for help. They wereglad to do it and gave their best wishes to this African girl.

 

I have met our ambassador

 

□ Time:  June the 23rd, 2016

□ Location: the Temple of Heaven, Kenya Embassy in China and theSummer Palace

□ Reporter: Wang Meiling

 

At 11 am, we rushed to the Kenya Embassy inChina.

Seveline’s friends had posted on Facebookthat she might meet the Kenyan Ambassador himself in China. Now there was onlya door between her and Mr. Michael Kinyanjui.

Kabiru led us into the office of AmbassadorKinyanjui, who welcomed her to visit China. He asked about her travelarrangements and experiences so far.

The Ambassador told us that he just cameback from a trip to Changsha last weekend and much impressed by the city.Knowing that Seveline also visited Chengdu, he responded that he had never beenthere and hoped he have a chance to go there and see giant pandas. He also saidthat Chengdu did a great job on wildlife preservation, which was very importantto Kenya too.

Kenya and China are linked by long and deepfriendship which has stood the test of time. The Ambassador appreciated whatChina Investment and other sponsors had done to make this event happen. Herecognized that communications between ordinary people of the two countrieswould contribute to the deepening of our friendship.

The Ambassador was very considerate,arranging his staff to take photos with Seveline and wishing her a pleasantjourney in China

Seveline was very pleased to meet theambassador in China. She thanked us for our effort to make her trip full ofhappy surprises.

The next stop would be the Summer Palace.We chose to have lunch at KFC, where the food Seveline liked best in China.

It was hot that afternoon. We enteredthrough the north gate of the Summer Palace, crossed over the Longevity Hilland reached the dock around the corner. We took a dragon boat ride on theKunming Lake. Seveline marveled at the big lake and asked us if the water waschanged regularly. We told her that it was a natural lake filled with springwater.

In the rest area of the park, we foundmango juice that wasn’t served in any other places. Seveline had two glasses tosatisfy her craving.