Last Saturday, the kids and I went for a hike up Maluan Mountain with some of the VMA staff. Brad was at a training for his Cambridge IGCSE science curriculum, so he was unable to join us.
The hike was organized by the school’s sunshine committee to commemorate the Double Ninth Festival. The festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, hence the name. Since the number nine is the largest single-digit number, it represents longevity and health. According to my coworkers, Chinese people will traditionally climb high and pray for good fortune on this day.
The kids were not too happy at the start of the walk and were very vocal about their complaints. At first I thought I had made a mistake in joining the outing, but everyone was incredibly kind and accommodating. Soon the kids were happily scarfing snickers bars, finding flowers, and getting piggy back rides from anyone willing to give one.
After reaching the top of the mountain, we had lunch in a nearby village. My coworkers chopped the meat and veggies in a busy outdoor kitchen and then cooked the food in what I can only describe as a brick oven/stove. While I relaxed in the sun, the kids ran around and played.
After a delicious meal of goose, duck, chicken, and veggies, we headed back down the hill. Hadley decided she was done walking for the day, so I got to carry her on my back most of the way home. Grady has made some new friends on our way up the mountain and managed to convince one to give him a ride down the hill.
Needless to say, I was sore and tired at the end of our adventure. I was told the entire trip was about 15 kilometers (a little over 9 miles). It took me all of Sunday and most of Monday to recover physically, which tells me it’s time to start moving more!