Sunday, July 1, 2007
On Friday afternoon Ruth and I joined Dave, one of Ruth's students, on a visit to his village. We took a cab from Ruth's flat to one of the bus stations and caught a bus that went west out of Lanzhou. I got the front seat so had a great view. Besides the driver there was a man that acted like a conductor. While we were still in the city he would jump off the bus at stops and shout to see if anyone needed this route. Meanwhile the bus is slowly moving along. The conductor would help passengers onto the bus while it is still moving and then jump on himself. I was glad we got this bus at its beginning point!
We left the city and entered into dry land with steep hills. As we moved along it gradually became greener, especially in the valleys. We made several stops along the way (and these were actual stops) and vendors would come on board selling drinks and snacks. When we reached the big town(about 4 hours) near Dave's village we left our large, somewhat air conditioned bus and caught a taxi to his village. It was a 3 wheeled cab that seemed a bit flimsy but it got us there. I got in the front seat next to the driver. Dave, Ruth, and Lily( Dave's sister who had met us in this town) squished into the back seat. Then there was a mother and son (about 5 years old) who also needed the cab. The mom climbed into the back area with the luggage, and the boy sat on my lap. The road was dirt and full of deep ruts. The cab just wove all over the road seeking out the best path. This was not a problem as I think we met maybe one car and two motorcycles in the 30 minute ride.
I seem to be having some trouble with the computer erasing things so I will post this now and later write Village Visit part II.
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