Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Waichow -- 68 years on

Here we are,  the Heroic Descendants,  posing on Dec 29, 2009, in front of what is now the People's Hospital in Huizhou -- formerly the American 7th Day Adventist Mission Hospital, where the local photographer used his last plate to take the picture below of  the original escapers on Dec 29, 1941.

We feel this lot may have had an easier time of it, all in all. 
OK, we didn't have any Japanese machine-guns attacking us, but we definitely had more trouble finding a boat than they did, let alone things like visas, food, lodging and gifts for our hosts. 
The two main things we wanted to do -- sail to Nanao and then walk at least part of the way to Waichow, on the same paths that our forefathers took with their guerrilla guides - were both in the end judged by today's Chinese to be too dangerous.  Yes,  even the safest and gentlest of the flag-stoned paths that you can see in our earlier post below about our (admittedly smaller-scale)  walk last year. 

But  hey, we made it!  Most of it was a lot of fun and most of us got on really well. And even the host and guest committees got on better in person than they had in six months of daily emails during the negotiation period. For a fuller account, including details of the odd explosive exchange over things like packed lunches, see Emma's excellent blog, called Destination Chongqing.  

The Hong Kong events, such as talks, church services and  Floating Xmas Banquets all went very well  --
and more to the point, the exhibition that the two of us spent most of last year preparing is successfully up and running for the next two years
at the HK Museum of Coastal Defence -- 
with  big posters advertising it all over the MTR.

Here are two McEwan sisters at the opening.

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