Adoption in China

Photos of Wanzai

Sent by a former Wanzai resident

(Text included was also sent by him)


The Xinhua Bookstore, where classic literary works by Chinese and foreign writers (their translations) are mostly available, and so are books on computer know-how, popular sci-tech, medicine, personal hygiene, cooking, English learning and others. Poems by Walt Whitman and novels by Ernest Hemingway have been among the bestsellers. The bookstore mainly targets the middlebrows and school students. The town, with a population of 45,000 or a little more, about 10% of the whole county�s, boasts three comprehensive high schools, and 85% of the senior students have annually been admitted to college through the fiercely competitive national exams. English is taught as early as elementary school, even in some kindergartens.  In the town�s middle and high schools, English as one of the key subjects/courses is strictly tested (on paper) for school/college entrance. All the English teachers are college graduates.


The Telecommunications Agency and Post Office. Over 90% of the households in the town (and nearly 20% in the countryside) are phone-connected, locally, nationally and globally. Most salaried people and businesspersons are equipped with pagers and mobile phones. Some of the local institutions and enterprises have access to the Internet.


The Commercial Bank, which has attracted considerable amounts of savings remitted back home by Wanzai people doing odd jobs far away in some highly developed big cities and provinces. Almost every family in Wanzai has at least one member working outside, because employment chances are relatively scarce at the hometown, and many farmers can�t support the family by tilling the soil. The current average monthly salary in Wanzai is 650 yuan (about US$80), one half of this amount paying for daily food and housing.  Many workers have been laid off these years and have to seek fortune on their own. If someone in Wanzai wishes to save big money, he/she has to do business, to work outside, or to be a powerful official.


A clear brook � Longhe, or Dragon River -- running through the town (into the Jinjiang River) with green trees/gardening and modern buildings lining both sides. The longer Jinjiang River edges along the northwest part of the town. The name Wanjin has been derived from Wanzai�s Jinjiang.  Literally In Chinese, "Wanzai" means "10,000 years" while "Jinjiang" indicates "a splendid/beautiful river."


The recently refurbished Wan Fo Monastery (Wan Fo means 10,000 budhas), built 420 years ago, located in the old downtown.


An old busy street for peddlers� stalls, restaurants, haircutting/dressing parlors, home goods mending, and many others.


Newly developed residential areas. Those who have made big money outside, in the town or in the rural areas are entitled to buy houses here.  Many rural farmer parvenus have recently become town dwellers, fulfilling their long dream of getting away from the soil.


The Baota Lu, or Pagoda Road, located here are the Wanzai County Government institutions, a new large bookstore, a culture lyceum, a top hotel and some companies. The 600-year-old pagoda in the distance is regarded as the symbol of Wanzai County, like the Statue of Liberty for New York City.


The natural lakes 2~3 km northwest of the town.  Wanzai, a 1714 mountainous county, is dotted with numerous lakes like these and crisscrossed with watercourses, natural or man-made.


Green paddy fields, blue bamboo hills,  and babbling streams with cows/buffaloes grazing the grassy banks and beaches.  And there are quite a few nature reserves or deep primeval forests 25~35 km north of the town. On sunny and clear days, people in the town can see with the naked eye the serrate ranges of the high mountains and its pointed peaks, like extensive screens profiled against the distant sky horizon.


A gateway to downtown. On the horizontal boards are written "Wanzai Ethos � Diligent Exploring and Pragmatic Working."


And more photos below:  "You can also get to know what Wanzai looks like by viewing the other photos.  A large variety of scenes of natural beauty and historical sites are spread across the Wanzai countryside. For instance, two 400-year-old 1-km long stone bridges across the Jinjiang River are still used on today�s two highways that link Wanzai to other counties and provinces. Each time I cross the bridges I marvel at the perfect workmanship of Wanzai�s old-day architects and stone masons."


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