We just got back from a trip to my hometown of Shuibu next to the city of Taisheng. Well, technically I’m from one of the outlying villages of Shuibu. My village and most of the outlying villages have remained fairly intact although most of the inhabitants have moved into the town or the city.
My mother’s friends arranged for us to visit the home that I left at the age of seven. It was a surprising mix of emotions seeing it through adult eyes after a 35-year absence. Prior to seeing it, I only had a couple of fuzzy memories, so fuzzy as to be possibly made up. The minute I saw the house though I recognized it. And then memories started coming that I must have locked away. This was likely aided by the fact that the inside of the house was like a time capsule. Everything in the house was almost exactly the way they were on the day we left for Canada. How different my life would have been if we had not left.
After a visit to my village, we went to visit my mother’s ancestral village, which was much further into the hills. Along the way, we passed several other villages. It was really interesting to see that each village had it’s own distinct flavour. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any photos from the vehicle we were travelling in due to the windy bumpy roads.
Our morning in the countryside ended with a really unique lunch arranged by my mother’s friends. Locally grown taro, potatoes and meat were placed inside a mound of clay earth; covered with coals and a large metal lid; and baked until everything came out delicious and juicy.
It was an exceptionally memorable day and I was so happy that I was able to share it with my husband and children. It’s going to be neat to hear Isabella’s perspective on this day.