The visit consisted of 3 parts: The Shaolin Temple (Buddhist), The Pagoda "Forest" and a Kung-Fu show by some of the monks. All parts were good - not everyone's thing of course but interesting nonetheless.
The Pagoda is a place for storing ancient relics, often religious in nature. In the monks case, when one of the Buddhist leaders dies, his body is cremated within 3 days and the ashes are placed into a Pagoda. The length of the period of leadership, importance of the leader etc. will then determine the size (girth, height & complexity) of the Pagoda. A closed door at the bottom means only one person's ashes are there - open means, additional ashes have been added.
The Kung Fu part demonstrated some pretty amazing acts of strength, dexterity, agility and suppleness. We got back to the hotel around 5:30am after which a number of us walked to a Pizza Hut that another family discovered last night. Needless to say it was very good and here we are back later than usual tonight complete with a visit to a Walmart like store for necessary baby supplies.
Please pray for Jack who has become very congested and has the makings of a chest infection. Another doctor friend of one of the group said there is very little we can do as it is equated with the change in living quarters to air conditioning at the hotel, restaurants, etc. - something very few of the children would have been used to. Many of them have runny noses and coughs - indeed even I had a troublesome cough tonight. The air quality in Zhengzhou is very poor - a constant haze surrounds the city. Up in the mountains on the trip today the air quality was noticeably better - even the tour guide acknowledged this!
Here are a few pictures of our day.
|Statue at entrance to Shaolin Temple, China|
|Most of the group at the entrance to one of the temples|
|Jack riding a ferocious "turtle"|
|Daddy & Jack at Shaolin Temple, China|
|Most recent pagoda at Shaolin with inscription that marks the period|
|Close-up of inscription/carving: look for video camera, laptop & airplane|
|Jack tackling a pear (YES, not a typo, a ginormous PEAR)|
|Though a little blurred just by the sheer speed, the pic does show great suppleness of KungFu participants|