We’re back up and running here at the blog after a bit of a delay. Today, the irises are blooming and the birds are chirping with a light mist in the air.Â With another holiday, Tomb Sweeping Day, on the horizon we hurriedly re-schedule classes, pack our backpacks, and load the bus to Xingyi.Â This time we know what to expect, we know the rest stops and where to get fantastic dumplings, but a lot has happened since we first made this trip two weeks ago.
Our home was robbed just over a week ago. Our door was ripped open with a crow bar and a hammer, and our computers, cameras, and my passport were stolen. Â Adding insult to injury, they took Charlieâ€™s favorite old orange backpack that he takes [or took] everywhere and my backpacking clothes sack that my mom made for me.Â Argh!
Never fear. We were lucky, we purchased insurance before we came. (Note to Peace Corps – China 17s: BUY THE PROPERTY INSURANCE.) The reality of crimes like this is that it isnâ€™t about the monetary loss. Really, it’s the violation of trust and safety.Â It also resulted in a loss of a week as we sorted through all the mess. But, as they say, we shall overcome.
The good in all this outweighs the bad, but some days I still fear turning the corner of our landing to see our new door battered in. The police reassured us that the thieves will be caught.Â As these things go, we have little hope in that actually happening. Our campus police do feel some pressure in that this semester at least two burglaries have happened each week on our campus.Â On the afternoon of our incident, two other apartments were robbed.
The good in all this is that we are living a more paired down, simplified existence.Â We have made new friends with some of our Chinese colleagues that helped us through the endless paperwork, hours of waiting, and headaches of a new visa.
Now, we are on our way to Xingyi again.Â This time we are joining many of the Peace Corps Guizhou teachers for a holiday camping trip.Â Two weeks ago, we went as scouts-exploring the 10,000 Peaks area, finding a trail through the dense, wild Karst landscape.Â We stumbled into tiny villages and camped inside a 1km long cave.Â It was a wild time, and we are looking forward to another great adventure in the mountains of Guizhou!