Saturday, May 9, 2009

A New Nephew and More China

My brother Matt and his wife Brooke just had their first baby! I am pretty sad that I missed it. Kenneth Reed Rowe, 8lbs. 1 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. I cried when I found out his name. I don't know why. It just played with my emotions a bit. I am so happy for them.

So it has been forever since I wrote and uploaded some pictures. We just got to a new hotel and I am taking a sick day. I was up all night and I need it. The food....Yikes. We have been in the mountains. We stayed in a little castle-looking hotel in the mountains last night. We had to take a gondola up to it. We hiked more up to a Tibetan temple that was even higher. Very pretty up there. Now we are down in the city below it for the night. The hotel room is huge and super nice. The nicest room so far. Better than in Shanghai. Everyone went out to some national park while I stayed here. Most likely it will be the best day ever and I will have missed it. I am uploading just a bunch of pictures today. Just random stuff from the days I have missed posting. I hope there is something there that you all like looking at.

And don't forget people, you can click any of these photographs to enlarge them.

Kung Fu Lucy and Jessica

Camera shy Lucy

40 year old virgin Jessica

40 year old virgin Shad

Lazy-ass Panda trying to play a stupid stick flute

A big spill on the freeway holding up traffic

Jessica racing children from the village

Lucy and me by the river

The Silver Fox himself, John Telford in the wind

A cock I named Brian

My new friend, Caixia (Tsai Shaw)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lucky to be Alive

So we flew into Chengdu yesterday and stayed the night. This is the region of the big earthquake last year. We left this morning on a 9-10 hour drive. There really is no way to explain the drive properly. Imagine a road that looks like it belongs in Baghdad right after an air raid. A dirt road of such awful conditions...Now imagine that road is a mountain pass with incredibly steep cliffs all over. Now imagine that it takes 7 hours of a road like that to make it to where we are now. Oh yeah, and every car on this disastrous dirt road treats this drive like a rally car race. 7 hours of flying through a canyon passing cars and being passed. Passing and going around semi trucks, clearing them by less than a foot, around completely blind corners. Absolutely blind corners on the wrong side of the road at about 45 mph on a road that seems like it once housed landmines...all next to cliffs. I swear there was 20 different and unique ways that we could have died today. It's also a good thing that China has so many people because I swear they ALL need to be working in this mountain to get done what it looks like they were doing. It seems that every 10 miles there was another bridge being built, or another dam. Everything else was landslides or rockslides. We passed a couple villages and even stopped one for a half hour or so...appalling living conditions and the whole place smelled like urine. Shad had to visit the "men's room" at this village and the only thing separating him from two pigs laying in the same room was a short railing. The pigs were about 2 feet from him. I guess we know what they eat though...

We are clear over by Tibet, so most people here are Tibetan. And we are at a very high altitude. Tons of wind. It makes you really feel like you are some place. You know what I mean?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Last Day in Shanghai

We fly out in the morning, headed to the Chengdu area. This is the site of the massive earthquake...was it last year? I am excited to see rural China. Not sure why, but I guess I want to see the actual country. The rivers and mountains. I know the food situation is about to get really tough and we won't have as many options to get safe food. Oh well. Whatever. Chicken heads it is I guess. Yesterday and today landed us in river cities. This is a picture of our river rower, as we went for a ride in his boat. It was like Venice, but older, more run down, and a lot more Chineseier.

Today we presented at China's second largest university. We talked to a bunch of their photo students, showed them our work, and then they showed us theirs. We won't have any competition coming out of China in the near future. Sorry to be rude about it. Complete different styles for sure.

I am dreading packing back up for the airport tomorrow. I hate packing.