Jun 162011

This is a commissioned piece for Sarah and Tim Chaney, neighbors and friends in Beilun, now headed to Buenos Aires Argentina to an American International School there.

The piece is called “GuanYin Listens.”  Sarah and I went to many temples in Beilun and Zhejiang province together.  I have always loved Guan Yin because she is the One who hears the world’s sorrows.  Women are drawn to her altars, always in the back of the temple away from the crowds.

The Lotus Flower is from a paper lotus pattern I learned here.  I used fusible web to make the petals stiff.  Each petal and leaf is quilted and beaded.


Jun 022011

I spent 6 days with Emma Chen in Guizhou Province, in the Southwest part of China.  This area is home to the terrace rice farms seen so often in pictures of China.  We travelled to Guizhou for research work Emma is completing on her next book – about education in rural areas and what children are doing, thinking and feeling in an environment far removed from that of the children we have worked with in Beilun and Ningbo.

We flew to Guiyang, Guizhou’s capital and were met by the people hosting us in the mountain village___.  We drove for an hour, and stopped at a hotel for the night.

In the morning we met up with the mayor of the village, who took us for special Guizhou breakfast – spicy noodles!

In the tiny shop a few doors down from the hotel, this young woman made delicious soup with meat balls, sausage, spices, veggies and hand made rice noodles.

She used extra long chopsticks – 筷子 (kuai zi) to add and stir without getting burned by the flames

These are the 3 soup portions for Emma, Mr. Mayor and I

This is the caldron of spicy soup made each day – since we were late, the breakfast crowd had already eaten most of it!

This is Mr. Mayor of the village we worked in – He is mixing the different greens and peppers for our dipping sauce.  In Ningbo, we dip food into soy and vineagar – but in Guizhou – HOT PEPPER Sauce!

Mr. Mayor explained that everyone makes their own blend of spices and greens for dipping sauce.  He was happy that I liked his ‘blend!”

Emma, however, doesn’t like spicy food.  She had to say “不辛辣” Bu xinla – or “not spicy!”

Here the cook is adding sausage and meatballs

Now the noodles

Now getting it all in the serving bowl, with a sprinkle of chives and cilantro on top

Mr. Mayor worried that I won’t like local food!

Oh it was sooooo good!  Thank you, Mr. Mayor, Emma and all the Guizhou cooks who patiently allowed me to photograph them!

More tomorrow!