This post is a continuation of my journal entries from our six-week expedition to China this summer. If you didn’t read the introduction to this series, you can read it here.

Date: 7/2

Location: Xiangshuihu (响水湖), a village outside Beijing and beside the Great Wall

Kou Baohai, (or as we call him, Kou Dage [an informal term literally meaning “Big Brother Kou”), is the “owner” of our hostel in Xiangshuihu. He and his wife (whom we call A Yi, or “auntie”) cook all the meals we eat during the day. It’s quite amazing that he is able to produce so much delicious food in a kitchen that’s a little bigger than a hot dog cart. I had the privilege (with fellow student Alec) of joining Kou Dage in the kitchen to cook lunch one day. Since the lifelong resident of Xiangshuihu (he’s lived there for over 40 years) can only speak Chinese, we interact exclusively in the language, but we did teach him some English too. Now he has three words in his English vocabulary: “yeah,” “let’s eat,” and “pork.” “Yeah, let’s eat pork!,” he said proudly.

That evening during dinner, I taught Kou Dage how to say “potato” in English. He had me cut different types of vegetables.

“我切的怎么样?” I said. [How’s my cutting?]

“挺好的!” he replied. [Pretty good!]

Stay tuned for more journal entries! Check out the photos below.

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