I've always heard stories about how hard it was growing up, not being able to find enough food or how little they had compared to now. And I thought I really understood, but I guess not, because my mind was completely blown when I finally arrived. Everything was so simplistic. So humble. So easy. So peaceful. Nobody needed anything more than food and shelter to survive. But the best part I have to say is how happy and at home my grandmother felt... I haven't seen her smile consistently like that in years.
The first thing we did when we arrived was eat a GIANT feast. Apparently whenever a member of the village gets married, the family of the husband and wife feeds the whole village! Literally...the whole village. Since my uncle got married last year, and hasn't yet been able to come back to China, we threw his dinner party for him. The feast was amazing. I have never seen so much food made in front of me so fast and in such huge quantities. They even had firecrackers. It was so heart-warming seeing the whole village came together to celebrate.
The feast was great, but the sleeping arrangements weren't. The next night, we were able to first hand experience how our family spent the nights growing up. Sleeping on the floor. That wasn't that crazy part. The crazy part was how HUGE the bugs were, and how many mosquitoes existed. Let's just say me and my cousins burrowed in blankets that night. But there's another thing, there wasn't AC, there was only a fan and opened windows. That night really did make me appreciate everything I had, and thankful for my beautiful comfy bed at home.
One of the best things in Guangdong was hanging out with the older family friends. Friends that grew up playing with my father, aunts, and uncles. They were the kindest people I had ever met. They were so giving and openhearted. They always took us out to dim sum, dinner, lunch, breakfast, shopping, sightseeing, you name it... anything you could think of they did for us. At one point I had (still have) a Mangosteen addiction and said how badly I wanted it. Soon after I said that, the car stopped and my aunt (that's what I called her) ran into some store and came out with a about 40 pound crate of Mangosteens! Needless to say that crate was practically gone by the next day. The saddest part of the Guangdong trip was saying goodbye. Farewell. But what made it better was saying: see you soon. I really hope I do get to see my aunts, uncles, and the village again soon. soon.... soon.
This was just a brief post, mainly about Guangdong, but I will share again soon another most unforgettable moment. Just after I finish catching up on my life in America and uploading photos.