Despite being chinese, until just last week, i had never actually even been to China. So i was pretty excited when mum and dad asked if i wanted to go to Hong Kong and China with them for a trip with my aunties and uncle to visit my grandfathers old town, the church my great great grandmother had helped start, plus an uncle who had been imprisoned 3 times for his beliefs. I had always wanted to go visit the village my grandfather had come from, as i had been told stories of it since i was a little kid. So to go back to the village with all dad's sisters and brother (plus another new found distant relative) was just an awesome opportunity that i couldn't pass up. I thought i was just going to go visit the village, see the church and the grave site of my great great grandmother, then meet this uncle - but i ended up with HEAPS more then i was expecting. Not only did i get to do those things, i also got to see the house and room that my grandfather was born in, meet all sorts of relatives i never knew i had, find out stories about our family's past that i had no idea about, go visit a street that belonged to our family, see a 'mountain' that used to belong to our family before it was taken back by the government, eat heaps and heaps and heaps of new foods i never knew existed and find out some of the most encouraging stories first had from people who had been persecuted for their beliefs and stayed strong in their faith despite the circumstances. It was awesome! Everyday was just jam packed with meeting relo's, travelling, sight seeing - but none of it was the usual 'tours', it was like our own personal family tour. It's a trip i'll really treasure forever. Hopefully one day i'll get to tell you some of the stories about our family in person. too much to write on a blog. But here are a few photos of the trip.
the view of Hong Kong from The Peak
with mum and dad
the Bubba Gump restaurant
meeting my grandfathers 2 younger sisters for the first time
crazy toilet sign in a restaurant
all happy on the train to china - before we got lost...
meeting long 'lost' relos i never knew i had
the 'new' building of the church my great great grandmother helped start
at the grave of my great great grandmother
The outside of the house my grandfather was born in
outside the room that my grandfather was born in
Our family 'street' in Swatow, China
standing in our family street with all the relo's who went on the trip
the house of my great great grandparents
outside the massive church that my great great grandparents went to
inside the church! Check out the 2 grand piano's in there!
Some of the crazy foods we ate