Friday, October 17, 2014

Starkey Mission to China, 2014 - Day 11

Dali, China
Patients fitted: 613

Today is our final day of fitting in Dali. 

Today started with a whole pile of young kids, which made Rosaline extremely happy. We also had the cutest kid in the world from yesterday return, and believe it or not, she seemed to be hearing! She was joined once again by her teacher and today her brother was there as well (who was also hearing impaired). She seemed to respond when asked if the boy beside her was her brother. Tani fitted both her and her brother, and as far as I know they were both hearing. I never got a chance to follow up, but I did get a couple more great pictures.

We wrapped up the day rather uneventfully (the hundreds of fittings are all starting to blur together) and Rosaline had fun handing out candy to as many kids as possible. There is a lot of candy left over, however, which we'll be bringing to Lijiang.

After the fittings were over Rosaline, David and I went for a walk looking for a place to eat. I managed to find a couple Lego figures for Drew and David managed to get a Red Bull poster off the wall of a convenience store (people here really are amazingly friendly) during our walk, and we finally decided to stop and have hot pot for dinner. This was a new experience for both David and I, but Rosaline talked us through it. It is essentially fondue, except instead of cheese, you have a boiling pot of soup, and instead of bread, fruit, or whatever else you would dip in a fondue you have meat, vegetables, noodles, fish, etc. It was really good, and it was a really cool experience. Once again we had Rosaline to thank for helping us experience something new. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this meal!

After dinner, there was a group tour of "Old Town" arranged for us. Apparently there is an Old Town and a New Town of Dali. Old Town was extremely cool, and is a warren of tiny shops, bars, hotels and street vendors all set in an extremely old, walled area of Dali. 

We wandered around and just browsed for two hours. I didn't buy anything but lots of other people did. There certainly seemed to be some deals to be had if you knew what to look for.

I'm now back at the hotel updating this journal (I let it slip for a couple of days and it is hard to catch up!). Tomorrow morning we leave for Lijiang. We have one day of fitting there and one tour day and then we leave for home. China is beautiful and this has been a wonderful experience but to be honest I am ready to get back to my normal life. I miss my family and I can't wait to get back home. I've met some absolutely wonderful people on this trip, many of whom have left already (Todd and Wayne left just this evening, and before that there was Britta, Joe and Bridget, Gary, Sabrina, Patricia, Scott, I missing anyone?). I'll definitely need to collect some email addresses before I leave so I can keep in touch with them!

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