Sculpture Park in Beijing

A beautiful sculpture park is found just 45 minutes away from our apartment (by bicycle). We’ve been there a couple of times. The sculptures are amazing–from various parts of the world. Here are just a few:

beautiful blossoms
Beautiful blossoms were out in the spring at Beijing’s Sculpture Park
I have to say I haven’t seen works of art quite like this before.
This park has a little amusement park for the children so here is a ride for your child… Not sure kids want to ride with a guy like that……

Sneaking Around the Summer Palace on a Bum Knee

China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) participated in an annual activity with other schools at the Summer Palace in Beijing. The purpose was to walk around the large lake which constitutes the majority of the center part of the property. Instead of doing the 8 kilometer walk this year, we decided to sneak off the path and see other sights there. We realized that by staying with the group, walking the perimeter of the massive estate like we did last year, we missed out on many of the wonders of this beautiful area. Because there were checkpoints located at various spots around the property, and we were wearing the blue sweaters provided by the organizers, we had to sneak around so they wouldn’t keep telling us we were lost. So we did NOT get a certificate or a prize for completing the walk. Instead, we got a greater appreciation for the palatial beauty of the area.  It was awesome. 

Danger! Deep Water! No Romping!

With his knee bothering him from so much hiking, Chuck sat at the bottom and waited for Laraine to come back from a hike up the stairs to the top of the palace. Going up would have been no problem for him; it’s the coming down part that’s bad.

Laraine’s climb was to the top of that building in the background.

The view was rewarding from the top. Here’s the sunset over the Summer Palace grounds in Beijing.

Lots of stairs to hike. Chuck and his bad knee did okay. He only chose to sit out on just one of the climbs.

Family Makes a Visit

In October our second daughter, Brandi, and her fiance’ (Rob) were traveling with a tour group through China.Their few days in Beijing wouldn’t have been complete without some time with her mom and dad. Here she is trying something new . . the Chinese version of a candied apple. It is a “Hawthorn apple” candied skewer, a popular treat in Beijing. 

 

Taking a selfie is an art form that we do not have a handle on, as you can see. What good is it to show yourself in China if you really can’t tell where you are?

It is always nice when family comes to China. Brandi and Rob were on a tour but we did snatch them away for  a few hours.

It took a long time to find them, but we finally met up with them in Forbidden City. Maybe next time they’ll learn to hide themselves better. 

Can you picture this couple in ancient times? What role would they have played in the court of the emperor?

Rob and Brandi make a cute couple on the moat outside the Forbidden City. They seemed to enjoy themselves, even if it was with the ‘rents (parents). A strange thing happened later in their trip. Their last venue before leaving Beijing was the Summer Palace, a sprawling estate that takes several hours to walk around. It was a Saturday morning and Brandi’s parents were also scheduled to go with their university to the Summer Palace in the early afternoon. Therefore, it didn’t appear there would be any overlap, so all goodbyes were said on Friday. However, as Brandi and Rob were leaving the Summer Palace, her parents were just arriving, so their was one last hug before they left the city.

April 2018 — Llama Temple

If you ever have just an hour or two and want to see a beautiful Buddhist temple, try the Llama Temple (or Yong He Gong). It is perfect, but not too large to see in a hurry.

You can tell how important a building is by the number of little roof animals there are to protect it. Literally, an 8-animal roof means the building was especially important . . possibly where the emperor himself would come.

 

 

April 2018 — A Marriage Market

Because wannabe grandparents are so anxious for their children to find a mate, they come by the thousands every weekend to JongShan Park next to the Forbidden City and advertize for a mate for their son or daughter. In the rural areas, there are 30-40 million too many men, due to the 1979 one-child policy and rural families believing a son is better than a daughter. Now, there are no women to marry in the countryside. In the cities, it’s not that way, but young men and young women are not getting married and producing those precious grandchildren.

It so happens that a famous LDS landmark exists exactly where the marriage market takes place. The tree under which David O. McKay offered a dedicatory prayer, was right in the thick of the action. When we single adult advisers took our single men and women to the park to see the tree, little did we know we were taking them to a marriage market.

At our apartment are Kevin Earl, Paul, Sabrina, Eketzel, Emily, Charles and Wei Su (also Laraine in the middle) We love these people!

The famous tree. Take no notice of all the activity around the tree — the buying and selling of marriage aged children.

Listening to a reading of the description of the area in historic records while fending off curious bystanders who wonder if we have brought eligible marriage candidates.

These “ads” include a son or daughter’s height, weight, skills, education level, etc. After taking this picture, these men were anxious to see if I was married and where I was from. When I told them I was American and that my wife was over “yonder,” they lost interest. I don’t know if it was being American or being married that turned them away.

Imagine the dedication of these parents who bring these ads every week.

They all look eligible for marriage, right? These are some of the YSA’s and singles from our Branch

Chuck with the Bennetts, District President and wife.