Sanmenxia is the city where we worked in the orphanage. We were very delighted to find that it is a less humid, less hot, and less polluted city than much of China. When asked at the end of the trip by my Chinese colleague who had invited me on the trip which city was my favorite I told her that I enjoyed each city for different reasons. I enjoyed Sanmenxia because I felt like I had the opportunity to get to know people there, see what normal (not tourist) life was like, and the people were so friendly and nice to each other and to us. Sanmenxia had a small town feel where people still felt connected to each other. At 300,000 people it is considered a small city by Chinese standards.
As I’ve stated before, the occupational therapy work at the orphanage was very intense. Intense because of the long hours and intense because of the wide range of strong emotions. The orphanage has requested confidentiality standards not dissimilar to what my employers in the States require so I can’t show any pictures of our work there. Our work consisted of a needs assessment, training through treatment, and formal trainings. Our main focus was to bring more activities into the daily routines of the kids in order to foster development (cognitive, motor, etc).
We also had a bit of time to tour in Sanmenxia.
One morning I needed to go to the store before we went to the orphanage but found that it was not open so I took a walk up to a pagoda park not far from our hotel.
View of the pagoda from below
Looking back at the city from the pagoda
Everywhere you look in China, something is under construction. I was lucky to happen upon a Grand Opening celebration with a drum group performing. I was talking to someone in broken Chinese & English while I was watching the drummers. He kept asking me, “What is this”?” and then he would say “beautiful”. I finally realized that he was asking me if I thought the music was beautiful. I was glad to finally be able to answer his question in the affirmative.
Sanmenxia has a city square that seems to be more in a downtown area. It was much busier than the area of town we were in. It was a lot of fun and I took several videos of the people doing group dancing and of a man doing Chinese calligraphy with water.
Just after I took this video one of the dance groups finished and a HUGE mass of people came toward me. I was about 15 feet from the rest of my group but it took a great effort to maneuver through all those people walking between us!
I loved this mural. It was right by one of the grocery stores that I frequented. I love the motorcycles parked beneath it, the Great Wall at the base, and the cuteness of it because the Chinese people love cute =).