Lori Ann

Yi baby headpiece

We’re spending more and more time with our friends in the countryside, which is a ton of fun, lets us devote up to 13 hours a day to immersed language study, and lets Tigger spend most of her time in her favorite place, the great outdoors!

Of course, it also means less time online, which ironically equals less time sharing about what we’re doing (ironic because it makes it look like we aren’t doing anything!). Also ironically, though we’re doing what we love most, we more often forget to pull out the camera; I told my dad a few weeks ago it seems the moments that matter most are the ones I never think to record!

So, though there are only a few, I thought I’d share some village highlights from last month. I haven’t uploaded this month’s yet but will share once I do!

baby at dawnStep one in visiting our friends in the villages is getting up at the crack of dawn, something Tigger’s already perfected. (Okay, so it’s just 7am, but when the sun’s slow to rise I want to be, too!)

the rooster

Once we arrive, the roosters better starting running, because Tigger’s a really fast crawler. We always come home with all her clothes dirty-red (reminds me of childhood summer on my Grandparents’ farm in Georgia, actually!), including the day this picture was taken after she chased the rooster up this village road!

Yi baby headpiece

I had to include this one again to share its story: The Yi minority babies here wear this black velvet headdress (decorated with silver bells) and supposedly like the sound of the bells’ jingling when they move their head. Our friend’s mother-in-law made one for her son, and they tried it on Tigger, who promptly cried every time it made a sound. I asked whether her son likes it, to which she replied, “No, actually most babies don’t like it, they’re all scared of the sound.”

salt-cured pork

Last but not least, we always come home with gifts of food. Giving a gift as a visitor leaves indicates you want them to return. Toasted sunflower seeds, fresh free-range chicken eggs, and salt-cured pork are popular. It took a few weeks (and hanging out in a friend’s kitchen while she cooked) for us to figure out how to cook the latter, but I think Baba’s finally got the hang of it.

Did you grow up in a rural or urban area? Where do you live now? Which do you prefer, and which do your kids prefer? What do you do to spend time in the one you aren’t currently living in?