Herman and I just spent the last couple of weeks with some of his family, along with a group of Chin relatives from the Bay Area, visiting Herman's father's village in Southern China. Herman's parents made the trip along with his oldest brother and both his sisters. We were guests of honor at a grand celebration in the village for the dedication of a new building which we helped pay to have built. The celebration was full of fanfare and color with lion dancers, fireworks, and a 15 course meal for over a thousand people (yes, we paid for that too). I've never eaten so much or so well. It was a fabulous time.
We're recovering in Thailand, just arriving in Chiang Mai today, and will be here through the holidays. Then we've rented a house on the southern tip of Phuket for five weeks. We'll spend three weeks in Vietnam, then to Hong Kong for a few days before returning home in mid March.
One bad side about our time in China: because we traveled with several older relatives who couldn't walk far, we were bused everywhere and spent most of our time stuffing ourselves with rich banquet food. I gained ten pounds. I was already fifteen pounds heavier than I like to be, and for the first time in my life I'm feeling really fat. So I'm now eating lean with no red meat, and I'm walking several miles per day. The weight is coming off, very slowly, but it is a painful process. Dieting is for the birds, but so is carrying all that extra weight.
I'm trying to look at it as an interesting challenge, but it's hard to get past the body aches and headaches. My fault for abusing my stomach.