May 1 Holiday News: Countryside Visit and Dinner Party

It’s a 3-day weekend in China, with Labor Day (May 1st) as a holiday with an added Monday of rest because our holiday just happens to fall on a Sunday, which is already a rest day in China. My weekend has been filled with visits to the countryside, to the old town Tong Tan where SP (Stairwell Puppy) has her home with her new owners.  (See below, 100-year-old old area of Tong Tan, next to the Tuo River.  Modernized Tong Tan is near the main countryside road.)


Long story short: I housed SP, an abandoned dog at our school, for 9 months at a veterinarian clinic and visited her every day during those months for walks. She was stuck in a small cage without any care from the staff during that time while I tried desperately to find her a home. Teacher Xue (whose English name is Snow) found her a place with one of her junior high students’ parents. They are farmers in the countryside, near a small town called Tong Tan which is about 1 ½ hours from Luzhou by public bus.

This was my 6th visit to SP’s new home as I have been going every weekend to check up on her plus enjoy the adventures of getting there, which is quite a journey that includes bus rides, trekking through an ancient town, a ferry ride across the Tuo Jiang River (a branch river of the Yangtze), then walking trails and pathways through vegetable fields and rice paddies to finally arrive at the home of Chen Shanzhen (the mom) and Che Fukuan (the father) of the little 11-year-old girl , Che Liangyu, whose English name is Sue.

Here is SP (Stairwell Puppy) in her new environment after 9 months in a cage. One very lucky dog, well worth the time, energy and money to get her to this happy place.


And below, here is her new family home, far from the noisy, car-filled streets of Luzhou city.


Below, a photo of Sue (next to me in knee-length jean pants ) and her friends, taken yesterday on our walk with SP.


Hostess with the Mostest

I’ll post more pictures of my journey a little later but right now, I’ll just give a quick update about my dinner party which Jackie (Peace Corp Volunteer at my school) and I held in my lovely apartment home for some visitors.


A Dinner Party Explosion of Guests

I’ve always wanted to hold a dinner party in my lovely new apartment but never found the time.  I scheduled this one about 3 weeks in advance in honor of Snow and our united effort to find SP a home.

Originally, the dinner was to include  9 people but we grew and grew in number to end up eventually with 15.  Teacher Xue (Snow) and her Australian husband, Geoff, were hosting 2 Aussie friends (Bill and Daphne, in their 60’s) coming to China for the first time.  Of course, couldn’t leave them out.  Also visiting Snow were her two Chinese friends, Karate (Beijing acquaintance and freelance English language translator) and Eileen (English teacher from Shanghai).   This then ballooned into also attending:  Sanje (a graduate school Sichuan Medical College student from Nepal), Christine Liu (a friend of mine and former student of Snow’s), Christine’s little friend, a 12-year-old boy guest who wanted to meet foreigners, Angel Zhang (my former English student), and other Peace Corp volunteers who included Blake (in Luzhou at the Medical College), Joel and Junior (out-of-towners) as well as Jackie, at my school.



People Invited:  Above from L-R: Former student Angel, PC volunteer Blake, Aussie visitors Bill and Daphne, Australian Geoff married to Snow, Sanje from Nepal, Englishf language translator Karate, Snow kneeling with Little Beautiful Sister the Chihuahua, PC volunteers Joel and Junior, young boy visitor, Eileen Lu (primary school English teacher from Shanghai) and PC volunteer, Jackie.  Christine and I are missing in this photo.

On the menu: homemade vegie soup, rolls and butter, zesty macaroni salad, stir-fried dishes (courtesy of Blake, showing off his Chinese cooking skills to others), chocolate chip bars, Fannie Mae chocolates and a variety of drinks.  No one went home hungry and we all truly enjoyed ourselves, as you can see from the above picture.

Closing Off with New Campus News

Before ending this posting:  Updates, along with pictures, will be coming soon concerning the big school move to the new campus, which is coming closer and closer as the days go by.  I just visited the new school today.

Oh, my!

Huge and impressive but hardly at all finished with cranes, bulldozers, piles of dirt everywhere, no paved walkways, dirt roads, no electricity or running water, buildings completely empty of equipment or furnishings and, basically, the entire thing still under construction.  Help!

We are to move in 6 weeks, everyone and everything, right after the semester ends the third week in June.  I’d be a lot more comfortable in 6 months.

Even our 12-story teacher apartment building with 65 units is a mess with empty elevator shafts and filth everywhere.  The workers are still going floor by floor to finish everything.  We don’t even have an entrance area finished yet or walkways leading up to it.

The apartment walls are painted, however, and the tiles laid on the floor, at least in the first 6 floors that Jackie and I walked up.  I guess that’s a plus!

Until next report, here’s wishing you “Ping An” (Peace) for your day.







About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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1 Response to May 1 Holiday News: Countryside Visit and Dinner Party

  1. Kate Lindsay says:

    My goodness… much news! What a lucky dog…..a happy everafter story. You are the Hostess with the Mostest!……Thanks for sharing the photo of the group. Shall be keeping you in mind as the day of the Big Move approaches……Keep Calm and Have Faith!

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