Monday, April 09, 2012

Burning Sacrifices in our Hallway

We are studying Ancient China now. I've posted before how much I love my history curriculum. It pretty much makes me want to do spirit sprinkles everyday when we crack it open. 

We had a friend over who helped the kids build their Great Wall. We've been to the Great Wall many times, so it was fun to learn even more about the emperors who made that thing happen. Perseverance is the defined in building the Wall.

We flipped the ancient coins that told our fortunes and then made some up for other people. It did not go well for some. 

M followed us around and stuck things on her face. And down her dress. And then did handstands.

No joke, we had just studied all the ancient gods when we stepped out our apartment door and saw this woman burning paper money to her ancestors. Overlooking the massive safety hazard in burning paper in slippers in a staircase, we were reminded of serious some people take to offering things to their ancestors. The kids and I got to pray over her together as we walked downstairs to our silk worm farm at a store nearby. 

I totally just said, "walked to our silk worm farm." 

Where are we?

How did we get here?

Never mind, let's focus on the fact that I felt like a Homeschool rockstar because we got to do so many field trips. This feeling has already passed, so no worries for my soul.

We strolled by the Taoist temple that doubles as a car wash. 

We rallied some friends to climb up Gu Shan. Not the most leisurely stroll with blue jays whistling through our wind blown hair, but it was still fun. 

We took this picture simply because we get our picture taken everyday. Not gonna lie, it felt vindicating to take a picture of a total stranger without asking. 

I should probably repent. 

Here's our crew mustering up a smile. There were about 2,000 stairs. We bribed the kids with ice cream to make it to the top. I have no shame. 

These things have nothing to do with ancient China, but everything to do with being uber talented with melted sugar. Made my pipe cleaner lion feel like a loser craft. 

We prayed as we watched others offer things to their ancestors. We went during "Sweeping of the Tombs," festival. People are expected to clean the tombs and burn things to give to their ancestors in the afterlife. 

We rode these cable cars down the mountain. I just might have peed my pants a little. Something about riding man made things down a mountain caused my throat to seize and made me mutter hail mary's. I'm not even Catholic. It was that scary. 

Of course when I told my two male passengers, they rocked the car. I should have known that was an inner monologue thing. 

The mountain was beautiful and we had a blast. 

They kids made their own ink and wrote John 14:6 in calligraphy. Then we burned the sheets to make them look old. 

Our friend told us that the wife and sometimes orphan kids would sit next to the nobles side and make the ink. She acted as the dutiful wife, made ink and fanned herself. 

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