Tag Archives: The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 7)

Tuesday night we had a great Hot Pot dinner with a local club family. The man was recently a village leader and the family had just recently believed. We had a great time of fellowship with them and their grandchildren and a few of Kevin’s friends. We joked with him some about a girl that he invited. Kevin is a young man and not yet married.

Yazoo and I made sure that we didn’t take the honor of eating the chicken head or feet out of the hot pot bowl. And we all tried to make sure that we served everyone around the table before they tried to serve us. But, sometimes the other guests would beat us to the different plates of food as they came in and would take it around the table and put some on our plates.

After dinner, Kevin took the company car and dropped off his friends. Yazoo, Fulmer, Switzer and I used and app to get a ride back to the office/apartment. I can’t remember the name of the App. But they used it for everything it seemed.

It was late and we were getting up early to go to some villages in the morning. So, we all got ready for bed and settled down. I was thankful that my room did have an air conditioner. It wasn’t really hot at all, but it just helped keep the air moving and removed the humidity out of the air.

I learned something new that night. A rooster in the city will crow at 2:00 AM until morning when he lives outside under street lights in an ally. It’s true. I almost started feeling like I would eat him if he didn’t shut his beak, but I was tired and he only kept me awake for about an hour.

The next morning we all got ready and packed up to go out to the villages. The bathroom with the shower was set up oddly to me. The shower and toilet where right next to each other with no separator. There was just a drain in the floor in the middle of the room and a squeegee on a broom handle to help move any remaining water over to the hole if it didn’t drain, but it did. It was a tall toilet luckily.

The sink and mirror were on the opposite side of the bathroom. It did seam fairly efficient and easy to clean. I thought to myself that I would just use the hand sprayer to wash off the toilet any time it needed cleaning. The floors were all made of tile, so it was an easy to clean space.

We packed up the little SUV and headed out. But not before Fulmer walked down the block to get some street food on a stick. It looked good, but I stuck to my Premier Protein bar. I did not want to have an upset stomach incident out in a hillside village. Which is why I also made sure to empty the tank before we left the apartment. This is operationally important for many reasons. Trust me.

The journey and the villages were beautiful.

We stopped in the first village up high in the mountains. The town was full of chickens running around in the natural areas around the oddly modern looking housing. It was a foggy morning up in the hills, but I could slightly see a winding stair case that could take tourist up to the top of the peak. It was still early, about 9:30, and not many people were in the village center, but we spotted an older lady using a stack of stones as a clothes washing area. She had a bucket of water and was wetting the clothes and running the clothes back and forth across the stones and then re-soaking the garment. Her hands seemed amazingly strong as she worked the garments. But they also looked tired with age at the same time. I can’t show you the pictures unfortunately.

This whole village thing was not what I was expecting. In my mind I assumed little huts built with sticks or mud or wooden houses with outdoor fire pits. I guess I didn’t stop to think about it deeply before arriving. I was just going because I felt like I was supposed to and didn’t even research what I was going to see. I packed for villages with dirt floors and outdoor cooking. But, these places were well built with tiled flooring, electricity, and aesthetically beautiful.

However the people were still down to earth farmers. They still slaughtered chickens right there on those beautiful tiled floor porches. Oh yeah, and there was a tall pole with government flags and face recognition cameras even out in the remote villages.

We talked to the lady for a while and Kevin asked her about tree farming and if she had heard of pecans. She didn’t know what they were, but she knew about walnuts. We talked for a while more before heading out. She was interested in showing us her house, there was not much to it, but we did notice the wall with the little idols.

We drove down the road a bit and stopped in another village down the mountain. The same scenario almost, not many were in town, but one lady was sitting on her porch stitching graphics into cloth. Fulmer and I made conversion. Actually Fulmer made conversation, and I smiled a lot. Then she offered us some wild picked chestnut type nuts. They were hard to peel but delicious and sweet. I ate several and just hoped I would not get a stomach ache.

She was very excited that we were taking time to talk with her and wanted to take us over to her shop. So we went.

I bought some nice hand made items to hang on the wall at home and took time to try on some of her hand made vests.

This is when a man walked in the door and we found out that he was the village leader and the lady was his wife.

I took pictures with the village leader and his wife who made the stitched items and promised that I would give them to my wife and daughter. And she wanted me to send pictures back for her to hang on the wall.

Apparently that talk time and purchase helped us gain a lot of good will to plant pecan trees. Big win for us. I have since received word that this village was part of our first successful planting of pecan trees, and it was a UUPG village. Now our company has a reason to be in the village. And, oddly, a picture of my wife and daughter may actually be hanging up in the local shop where I bought the handmade stitched items.

Our next journey would take us to Kevin’s home town to meet his family. We were scheduled to eat lunch with them. This would be a very important meeting because we were going to share the Good News with Kevin’s family. We really wanted to meet Kevin’s father.

To our surprise a rock slide was blocking the road on the route that Kevin was taking to get there. But, the detour we had to take took us to a place with a beautiful and very tall waterfall that exists about 8 months out of the year during the rainy season.

When we finally arrived at Kevin’s childhood home, we had a great time with Kevin’s family. Kevin’s sister had prepared us a wonderful meal. As we ate we was able to share the business plan, the Good News and other things with Kevin’s sister.

She was open to the Good News and was asking questions and wondering how our country heard of the Good News. I gave a little history lesson of how the original colonies in the United States were originally established and pulled out some American money and talked about the reason it has the saying “In God We Trust” on the dollar bills. This story resonated with her.

She didn’t make a decision that day, but I later learned about a month later that she did finally make the decision to believe.

After a few pictures we then drove back to the big city via a different road out of the mountains. We checked back into the original hotel we were in and planned out a few places we wanted to visit the next day.

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 6)

The next morning we woke up at 5:30 and Yazoo and I went for a 5k run. It is high altitude in here at 5750 ft. It was also still wet. So we had fun dodging puddles. But this city is very modern and beautiful. So we had great running paths. You just have to make sure to listen out for mopeds.

They are battery powered and you can barely hear them coming from behind you on the same path. At least twice I was startled by a moped racing past me from behind.

After the run we packed up all of our things and checked out of the hotel. Today we are headed to a smaller city to the other business office and near the villages. But not before another stop at Starbucks. Switzer is very into coffee.

Fulmer picked us up and we headed out for Starbucks. I found out that this region grows coffee beans. So I bought two bags of regional beans from the Starbucks Reserve store while we were there. Folks, this is good coffee. I brought back those two bags of beans and ground fresh coffee each Sunday for my LIFE Group class for a couple of months. After taking a few minutes discussing the major coffee growing regions of the world, we were off on stage two of our adventure.

On the trip there are about nine tunnels. One of them was more than a mile long. The mountains on this east side of the region looked like the Smoky Mountains with the fog rolling over. We also drove through a stone forest, and saw live Eucalyptus trees.

Upon arrival we saw the new business office. Fulmer and Kevin did a great job getting this spot. It is a two story store front, and the second level is set up for fairly large groups of business folks to lodge as needed.

We unpacked and set out to attend a prearranged lunch meeting with the local agriculture officials. I was in the back of the car and had no idea where we were going. Kevin was driving and he knows this city. So when we turned into a back ally and pulled into a parking spot with people peaking out from behind the blinds of the small windows of the buildings, I was a little confused. I thought we would be going to a large government building. But this seemed more like a meeting with a mob boss.

We all piled out of the car, there were five of us in the little compact SUV, we were greeted by a young lady who quickly got us out of the ally and into a small building that was just set up as one large room with two table. One smaller six top table and then a very large round table. It was set up with the standard place setting for a meal.

After a couple of minutes a slightly rounded gentleman with glasses came in the door flanked by two well dressed (business attire) ladies. We all introduced ourselves and were motioned to sit down at the table.

We were sitting around a big round table in a private location and it felt like I was living a movie scene. Half scared and half amazed. I watched as the official was served by the female hosts like a king. He came in with a cigarette and the ladies made sure he always had a fresh one waiting.

It was an awesome lunch with all local produce and meats. For free. It was amazing food. I was a bit nervous though. As I was eating Fulmer leaned over and translated a few words for me.

This meal had included some cooked mushrooms that were so expensive if bought anywhere else in the world it is a rich man’s delicacy (like $3000 an ounce).

He and Yazoo sat and talked mostly as Kevin translated. But after a while he and Kevin just talked together as Kevin explained our business model Fulmer, Switzer and I sat on the opposite side of the round table, and I was flanked on my left by the two ladies all around a very large round table with a huge lazy susan.

After eating and talking a while. The official leaned back in his chair as to say it was time to get to business. We discussed business and the official gave us tips based on the information that Kevin had relayed, he then told us we could look around for the best growing areas and come tell him what we needed. It was a God thing really.

He took us up to his office, the ladies served us fresh green tea from local leaves, and he gave us each one of his cards. It was our golden ticket to use if we were harrassed in any village by the police. We were international business men with money to invest in his region, and that was true among other things. We do want to invest in these villages and in many ways.

I was relieved as we left the office and headed out to the car.

As we rolled around town for a while and visited local shops we were able to stop into a shop making garments with local flare. I wanted to buy a dress for my daughter, but they said they make these dresses custom to size. So, we didn’t have time to wait on that.

I was amazed at one point as we were driving around. This smaller city had many high rise buildings with apartments and open air stores/restaurants on the lower levels, similar to the larger city. However, you could tell that the people were not used to this, because they were still farming in every single spot of dirt that was available around these buildings. I found out that many of these folks had to make a decision to leave their villages in order to find jobs in the city.

I saw several small trucks and even makeshift flatbed mopeds with pigs and even cows on them coming into the city and directly to restaurants. They would be quickly dispatched for the customers coming in for lunch or dinner later in the day. They would simply wash off the sidewalk to clean off any remaining body fluids.

After driving around and getting the tour from Kevin, we then headed back to the office to rest before a dinner meeting with another group of local club members.

Group Hot Pot is on the menu.

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 5)

We set the alarms for an early start Monday (not that I needed it). I got in a short workout in the room with pushups, situps, lunges and squat before taking a shower and getting my backpack replenished for the day out.

Today we had planned a store visit to a large international retail chain store and we hoped to meet with the store manager. We were looking to gain some insight into the local market and product assortment for pecans. Part of the goals of this trip was to help determine multiple revenue streams to fund the company which would then support the local club growth and outreach.

I know a little about retail and eating pecans. But, I’m more of a technologist in the retail sector. I do have a hobby farm at my home which includes four apple trees, three plum trees, twelve chickens and nine muscadine vines. However, on this adventure, Yazoo is the big boss man and I’m just the sidekick. If questioned, I’m just a tourist and maybe I can consultant on business, technology and risk management if pressed for a better reason.

Now, funny thing is, our new friend Fulmer just happens to have a degree in some agriculture science area from a southern college and knows quite a bit about pecan trees. This is another awesome God thing. Putting Fulmer in this region and getting him involved in this adventure is a special kind of blessing. If our first goal is to plant pecan trees and get access to villages, we’ll need to know how to talk to the agriculture officials, farmers and land owners. Now we have a resource in place to do that.

So, we started the day by going to McDonalds for breakfast and coffee. Fulmer picked us up at the hotel and we met Kevin at the McDonalds. Let the adventure begin. Remember, this is my first time ever leaving the U.S., so some items I saw in this store were new to me.

We found only a few pecan related items at the store. But no nicely shelled whole pecans and really no dessert or health food items that incorporated pecans like we do here in the states.

After the store visit, you’ll never guess where we went.

Yep, we went over to Starbucks for a couple hours to discuss the inner workings of the business, management structure, funding and opportunities. Due to my lack of sleep, I was tired but alert and only occasionally interjecting an opinion. But I did partake in quite a bit of people watching. This Starbucks was on the corner of a big shopping area and I could see people walking by from all directions.

It was interesting to see all the different fashions of clothing. I suppose I’m used to seeing people wearing all the southern and mid-western U.S. fashions. So, I don’t think about how many different clothing styles are worn. But, as I sit in this Starbucks and look at these people walk by, it seems like they are all wearing something new and unique from each other.

We left Starbucks and started looking for a good place to eat lunch. We found a great local family owned restaurant that serves what they call Muslim noodles. These noodles are made fresh in front of you and they hand pull and separate the noodles and drop them in the soup base of your choosing. I chose chicken and some assorted greens for my noodles. It was delicious.

After lunch we went on an adventurous ride across town to meet the accountant. We were weaving through the crisscross patterns of traffic and seemingly fearless moped riders. It was more like a running back trying to run through the line of scrimmage than driving on a roadway. But when two weird American dudes stick their heads out the back windows and wave with a big cheesy smile, the locals are stunned long enough for you to nudge your car into the open line.

We were going to meet with the business accountant to check on the status of the money that Yazoo had sent to this country from his bank in the United States. Funding this business had become quite problematic. This country is not friendly to missionary work. So, when Yazoo’s bank accidentally sent the money to the foreign bank with a memo on it that said “missionary funding”, that did not go over well. And it happened twice. It was purely a mistake on the U.S. bank’s part, and the middle man bank that handles transfers. But, funding the business took more than six months and several corrections to paperwork.

The money still had not fully been added to the foreign bank account until the week after we left that country. This little issue would also be the cause of some troubling thoughts in Yazoo’s mind on our last day in the country, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Because, he also didn’t tell me until we were on the way home boarding the final plane back to the U.S.! Which, providentially, the flight was moved up a day earlier than expected two weeks before our trip. At the time we didn’t know what happened, but I checked our flight on the AA app a couple weeks before we were to leave and our Saturday flight home had been cancelled. I texted Yazoo, and he had to quickly scramble to get us tickets home on that Friday. There was no explanation to why that flight was cancelled, but now it seems we may know the answer.

We were at the accountant’s building for a while. So I stood out on the balcony and took several pictures. The ones I can share below are of an area where some outdoor adult exercise equipment was set up. I believe there must have been an assisted living area nearby.

I watched as several people took turns using the equipment. There were also older people sweeping and taking care of the grounds. The brooms were made of full stalks of grass.

It was Switzer’s birthday. So, after planning with the accountant, we went to the hotel and changed into comfortable clothes. We then headed to the huge six story mall for some Hibachi/Teppanyaki dishes and we were accompanied by Fulmer’s family. Among other dishes I had Lotus root coated with peanut flower. This was very good.

While we were eating, unbeknownst to us the rain had started outside. When we got down to ground level the streets were flooding around the mall. There was also a huge leak opening up in the center roof of the large atrium of the mall. Apparently this was very embarrassing for mall staff because they politely asked me to stop filming the big leak in broken English. We quickly made our way to the small SUV that Fulmer had parked in the below ground parking garage, and made our way out. We all worried that the parking garage might fill up with water. Luckily we were able to leave quickly, but once at ground level the water was a couple of inches deep across the whole road for several blocks.

It was a great full day, and that night I slept like a rock after not sleeping Sunday night. I did take two Tylenol PMs to confirm I would fall asleep, because the next day would take us on a trip to our office in the smaller city near the villages.

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 4)

As we were eating lunch I was able to meet Kevin’s friends from his club. One of them was the shepherd of the club, and this was the first time he was meeting for a real business meeting with Fulmer and Switzer. This was a big surprise to me. I felt honored and centered being there with them. I didn’t feel adequate to be there, but I knew I was supposed to be. This shepherd openly lead us in prayer before we ate, which was at first frightening to me because we were in a public space, but then I embraced the connection we had together and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Now, at this point I started noticing the absence of serving utensils. Well, that is because we all used our own chop sticks to pick out whatever we wanted off of the main dish platter or out of the main soup bowl. Yes, double dipping of the chop sticks is approved! I made myself okay with this situation by repeating in my mind all of the vaccinations I had taken before coming on this trip. I am happy to report that I did not get sick on the trip, as far as I know, yet. But I did go ahead and take a dose of pin worm treatment when I made it back to the states as a precautionary measure.

After lunch we made our way to the closest Starbucks. We each ordered something and then headed over to the city office of the agriculture company. The company has an office in this big city and one in a smaller city near the villages where we will plant trees and find people of peace to share THE business plan with.

When we arrived at the office, Fulmer was excited to show Yazoo the space. Fulmer had worked with Kevin to set up both office locations. Each location is set up to be used for business planning and overnight stays as needed. The locations will be a great asset for the business as a whole, and for the big club back home.

We briefly talked through some possible revenue streams while sharing some of the pecan samples with the group, but that was not the main purpose of this meeting.

The local shepherd wanted to talk with all of us about the needs of the club and the flock. His flock is in need of materials to share THE business plan with villages in their language. And his flock needed a plan for growth. The backstory is a good one. This shepherd and Kevin came from the same village, they went to school together in a city near their village. They had each been exposed to THE business plan by a man who was there teaching English when they were children. But the village itself is still a UPG, and is surrounded by UUPGs.

Fulmer and Switzer had a few ideas on how to get them some materials created in their language, but the process takes some time for translation and confirming the meaning is accurate.

The shepherd also shared how the government is slowly finding members of clubs in the area. They go missing for several days before being returned and sometimes they do not return. There are official sanctioned clubs and buildings set up for clubs that remain in the country, but the version of the message shared in those buildings are not THE true plan.

After some time in prayer, Yazoo covered the four fields program with Kevin, the shepherd and their friend. We then started talking with Fulmer and Switzer about future training and story translations needed for the UPG/UUPG groups.

It was getting late in the day, so we decided to part ways and head back to the hotel.

Fulmer dropped us off at the hotel and went to his place. Switzer, Yazoo and I changed clothes and walked about a mile to the huge six story mall for a small dinner at a Burger King. This city is beautiful at night. I have never been to Las Vegas, but there are several buildings here that I think would fit right in on the Vegas strip. Outside of the smell of sewage that occasionally wafts by, I really enjoyed this city and the mix of modern building design and classical architecture of the historic downtown.

We were already very tired so we quickly made our way to BK and went back to the hotel that night. At last check I had 16026 steps in on the Garmin Forerunner 235.

No sleep came for me Sunday night.

I probably should not have had the late Starbucks. I won’t be drinking coffee on Monday, just my Zipfizz.

Here is where that bed near the window fits back into the story. I wasn’t able to sleep, and I had left the curtains open a bit. Our hotel was surrounded by huge high rises on three sides, and the other side had an Olympic size pool, tennis and basketball areas. I’m convinced those were actual Olympic training areas.

I laid in the bed that night just staring up at those high rises and watching lights go on an off in the windows and thinking about what those people must be doing at all hours of the night. I knew the food trucks stayed open late, but it was 2:00 AM local time and the city still wasn’t yet asleep. I had brought some Tylenol PM with me on my doctor’s advice, but I didn’t take it before bed and I didn’t want to be chemically tired on top of physically tired the next day, so I didn’t take any after going to bed.

It was also an emotionally tough night. It didn’t hit me the first night because I was so tired, but on this second night I started feeling the distance away from my family. We were almost a full 12 hours ahead of my home timezone, so I called/texted my wife and talked to her around the time she was leaving our home club. Her words calmed me, and the Comforter soothed the pain in my chest. You know the pain I’m talking about, that pain of being away from the familiar and having a slight fear of never being able to return. I had not felt that pain since I was a young child.

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 3)

Tent Making. Like Paul’s stay in Corinth, the Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry are funded by our day jobs and skills. Today was going to be partly tent making, fellowship and strategic planning.

We were headed out to start our week at an international agriculture expo. It’s amazing because when we planned our trip, we had no idea that expo would be happening in that city at that time. Yet, the timing was perfect.

Scooter snuggies are a big deal here. Yes, scooter snuggies. It was cool as we headed out into the city and there are scooters everywhere. On the cool mornings, some people have this snuggie looking thing that they wear while riding the scooter. The city has a huge lane just for scooters. Almost all of them are electric scooters. The city I was in was not smoggy at all which was a wonderful surprise. I noticed that many of the lights were LED or CFL and very nice bike paths lined the roads as well.

As we were riding out toward the expo center, I was amazed at the sheer number of people. I’d never been in such a big city. In the United States, the biggest city in terms of population I’ve ever been in is probably Houston. As I was able to start seeing around some of the buildings I noticed a huge mountain range in the distance. That’s when I looked up the elevation of the city and noticed that it was higher in elevation than Denver. I was getting excited about going up into the villages later in the week.

The expo center is on the edge of the city and out near a huge lake. The architecture was amazing and iconic. After going through security and a full car inspection, Fulmer parked underground in a multilevel parking garage and we piled out to experience the event. Luckily we were all wearing those matching polo shirts with the company logo on it.

I was able to experience so many different new vegetables, fruits, meats, flowers, eggs, nuts, and see the tools of the trade used on the farms. I enjoyed it greatly. We were also able to watch a group of ethnic minority singers perform wearing their traditional clothing. I wish I could share the pictures with you.

It may seem odd for a guy who has made his career in IT to be on a trip in a far east foreign land wearing a polo shirt with the logo of an agriculture company with three other American guys, walking around an international agriculture expo and making deals for the acquisition of pecan samples.

I’m here to tell you it’s not strange in the slightest.

Yazoo and others have started an agriculture business in this country, and they are starting out with planting pecan trees in villages. This business will hopefully one day fund itself and help pay the salaries of a few company employees who can visit the villages and make friends with peaceful residents. Friendships lead to opportunities for productive conversations.

Fulmer and Kevin had been talking to a business owner who had a pecan farm a few hours southwest of the city. All of his pecans are hand shelled and the farm is subsidized by the government to help get the pecan industry going. We were visiting the booth of this pecan farmer. I smiled and nodded while a young man talked about his product. I pointed and offered money for the shelled pecans I wanted and paid for probably a one pound bag of hand shelled pecans. It was a good price. Then the owner of the company who had been talking to Yazoo and Fulmer grabbed my money back from the young man and gave it back to me. We are building relationships for the agriculture company.

Now at the time I was buying those pecans for me to eat during the week. Because I love pecans. But, God had other plans for those pecans. After the expo, Fulmer asked to take the bag home that night and use his vacuum sealer to create smaller sample size bags to hand out to people as we told them about our company. That idea would prove to be a very useful tool over the next few days. Pecans are not a well known product in the villages of this country, because they are not a native crop. But they are a hot commodity in the bigger cities.

There’s something you should know about four guys who barely know each other driving up to a huge international expo in a far east foreign country in a city of nearly seven million people. None of them will take note of where they parked.

When we left the expo we walked backed to the parking garage and luckily we collectively remember which direction we walked from. But once we go to the garage, we couldn’t find the car for nearly an hour. And we were supposed to meet Kevin and the cousins for lunch. Kevin is our partner from this country and the business manager.

We tried using our Google location history, but that didn’t work well because we were under ground. We split up and took different rows in areas we thought looked familiar. That didn’t work. I had prayed while I was walking for God to help us find the car, but we did not find it.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:19-20 NASB

After an hour Fulmer pulled us together and we all took about thirty seconds and prayed together to find the car. We then split up and not more than five minutes later, we found the car. God is good. We just had to pull together and agree in prayer.

I already knew that God had His hand on this trip and this experience was just another confirmation of that.

Now to lunch.

It would be my first time meeting Kevin. And he would be bringing a few friends with him. Yazoo and I found out, after we reached the restaurant, that they are all part of an underground club. Kevin is employed by the company, but he is young and is excited to meet the big boss, Yazoo.

I was so excited to meet Kevin as it would be my first time meeting a club member from this country and I had heard stories about how he was risking his safety for the cause. I had prayed for him for months without ever having met him. We were especially praying for his family to hear the Word and join the club.

And one of the reasons I had for going on this trip was to teach Kevin everything I knew about building relationships and making good first impressions when going to business meetings. Tent making like Paul. I was going to use my talent to build the club.

When we arrived at the restaurant there were several unique things I learned about local culture and how food service is done in this region.

First, there is a service that picks up all the plates, glasses, chop sticks, cups and bowls during the day. The company washes it all, and returns it to the restaurant in heat sealed wrapping. I saw this in several restaurants and they must all use the same service because all the place setting looked the same including the chop sticks.

Secondly, there aren’t really serving spoons or forks most of the time. Everyone just uses their own chop sticks and grabs what they want out of the family style serving bowl.

We let Kevin order for us and everything was interesting. I recognized most of the foods but not necessarily from it sitting on a table at my house. I had all my shots and immunizations, so I dug in. And I really enjoyed it. But, I did not eat the chicken’s head. I gladly allowed the other honored guests to have that.

You’ll notice that I have a cup of tea. No, it’s not sweet. But it is good. I tried several fresh local teas while I was there. And I brought some home to use in my daughter’s tea pot.

The big plate with the steamed hand (buns?) wrapped around a bowl full of pork belly was very good. Not healthy, but very good. And we had rice at almost every meal.