Published: January 3rd 2011January 3rd 2011
This past weekend and the week before it were long weekends, ending the longest stretch without a break in the entire school year. The week before last was Christmas break and so Helen and I celebrated Xmas with friends at the school. First was a great Xmas eve dinner with a handful of friends at a Americana restaurant called Alohas located oddly enough in the french district of town. Christmas day we spent at Gail and Ian's. Gail is a esl teacher and Ian, her husband is an engineer. There we did gift exchanges through secret Santas. I scored a pair of briefs from my office secret santa and a blender at the big exchange at Gail's. Fun times and of course I got a great phone call from the family back in Edmonton as well, so all in all a great long weekend.
Only to be out done by last weekend that is. Helen and I along with the Darrel and Margret (principle and wife), Steve and Nancy, Mitch and Annelli, Larry and Karen, Lane and Nicole and Janice (all fellow teachers) left to Sanya, a resort destination in Hainan province. There we stayed at beautiful rented out condos.
Helen and I spent Friday out at the beach in Yalong bay up the island. There we laid back drinking out of coconuts and let the stresses of the year wash away with the tide. We then went to get some seafood on the shore and although the all you can eat was more expensive than expected we definitely indulged. Coming home we were feeling like we wanted to stay in and so thats just what we did celebrating beginning of a new year in the rented condo while the others were just next door at a local eatery called Big Daddy's. The next morning we had breakfast with Larry and Karen and then decided to do a couples outing where we planned to visit Monkey Island and the Hainan Rainforest.
Monkey Island was a reserve filled with monkeys. Karen, having played with monkeys at other resort destinations before quickly bought a variety of fruit to bring on to the island. We took a gondola to get on to the island we were within minutes of reaching our destination surrounded by monkeys. However these monkeys were a bit more wild then the monkeys Karen and Larry had encountered before
and with Karen's bad of fruit around her arm, one very bad monkey climbed up Karen and bit her twice trying to gain access to her bag. Karen let out a alarming shreek and Helen quickly jumped into action shoeing away the offending monkey and coming to Karen's aid. Karen was bit twice and blood was poring out of both wounds. We quickly grabbed our things and tried to clot the blood. We made it to the meager first aid hut and Karen was found to need stitches. With no qualified staff or supplies on Monkey island we quickly made our way back to a clinic on the Hainan province island. There Karen was stiched up and we decided never to return to Monkey Island.
So we then went to the rain forest of Hainan which was about 45 minutes away from the clinic. There we had a rather quick but enjoyable tour of native land, plants and animals. There were many rocky landings waterfalls making for great sightseeing. We all returned back to the rental condos and then met up with the others at Big Daddy's. Concluded the night with the some fun times, good food and drink.
Helen and I left on Sunday morning got to Hankou at about 4 and I stayed for dinner brought over by her mom and aunt (a fantastic culinary duo).
This is our last full week of teaching for the semester and after this week there are a week of test to invigilate and then ...more vacation! Our 5 week long spring break begins. Helen and I will travel to Hong Kong on the 18th and spend a few days exploring the city. Following that we hope to travel to more interior destinations via train. We shall see!
There are more photos below