Challenge 2: ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by Albert on August 2, 2010 under Challenges | 9 Comments to Read

Challenge 2: Work on a farm for a day.

Yesterday morning we met a Uighur man named Alim at 8:00 AM in our hotel lobby. After we explained to him what we wanted to do, we got in a taxi and he literally rode around with his head out the window asking if anyone needed work. After a few minutes, he found a woman whose family has a grape farm and was happy to have two more strapping lads who would work for free.

It was about 9:00 AM (Beijing time) when we started work and the sky was thankfully a little overcast to bring the temperature down slightly from the 41 C (105 F) high the day before. The work was physically demanding, but the pace was actually rather slow. Adrian spent the day crouched under the vines with the Uighar family, cutting bunches of grapes (and teaching them English!) while Albert found his true calling as a pack mule carrying the 5 kg (11 lbs) baskets of cut grapes to the packing ladies. The most difficult part of the ordeal was stooping under the grape vines to cut and carry grapes. The vineyard was clearly not designed for people as tall as us.

It was truly a multi-ethnic experience with Uighurs speaking their own Turkic-based language in the field, Han Chinese speaking Mandarin at the packing area, and a Hui truck driver who could deal in both.

Other excitement from the day included:

  • Riding the tractor back to the farmers’ home for a delicious home-cooked lunch of noodles and watermelon.
  • The children running in terror from a scorpion.
  • The “boss” from Hebei Province who purchased the day’s 150 crates of grapes coming and criticizing everyone’s work.

The day ended at 7:00 PM with the oldest brother of the farmer family suddenly challenging Albert to an arm wrestling match which then led to a chain reaction of various brothers arm wrestling each other and finally ended with Albert vs. Alim.  (By the way, Albert lost every match, not surprisingly.)

We’re both sore today as we roll in on the night train toward our next destination, Jiayuguan – the last outpost of the Great Wall of China.



9 Comments on “Challenge 2: ACCOMPLISHED!”

  • elaine said,

    Glad you didn’t repeat your Australian farming experience and get sacked for talking too much!

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Ana said,

    Have you ever expected Turpan is much hotter than GZ?
    BTW,both the grapes and the watermelon must be very,very sweet.

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Ana said,

    and juicy!

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Keith said,

    Well done. job at denbies next year?

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Heather said,

    I’m loving all the pics and videos! It’s great to get to actually see the things you are talking about. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

    Aug 6, 2010

  • marie said,

    Was the baby a good driver?

    Aug 6, 2010

  • elaine said,

    Sorry comments on Challenge 4 are blocked, but you’re obviously as good at fishing as your father!

    Aug 6, 2010

  • Cheney said,

    Yoyo,man.”•The children running in terror from a scorpion.”That’s interesting,btw.R there many scorpions in the open air?Grapes in the pics look tastyyyyyyy!Maybe u could send some with EMS to me,:D.n the scorpion the last pic was a bit different from the one I saw on TV.

    Aug 7, 2010

  • Lester & Donna said,

    Enjoyed hearing about your travels, journey, trek, whatever. Also enjoyed the pictures, especially dressed in Chinese garb. God bless you as you continue your travels and teaching.

    Aug 8, 2010

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