October 15, 1961 – Hong Kong

Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, China – Clear

      I still felt bad this morning but definitely not as bad as yesterday.  The cough syrup had kept my cough to a minimum and I could tell the antibiotics were working.  I stayed in bed while Edith got up, finished packing and went off with others from our tour to go to church.  I wanted the added time to rest instead.  Once I got up I did pack and get ready to leave Hong Kong for Macao.  I called room service to order something to eat and made a point of having something light for breakfast and later again for lunch so I wouldn’t get seasick on the boat.   

     When Edith returned after church and touring I was packed and ready to leave.  She seemed surprised to see that I was ready and waiting so when she showed up we picked up our luggage and joined the others in the lobby.  We climbed aboard a bus and made the trip to the Hong Kong harbor to catch our ship for the trip to Macao.  The ship turned out to be a steamer called the Fat Shan Ferry.  We left Hong Kong at 2pm and the sea air helped me feel better than I thought it would.  I took several pictures on the way to Macao since the weather was so clear. 

View of Victoria Hill in Hong Kong from the Steamer

View from Steamer on Way to Macao

China Sea

Another View of China Sea

      Once we reached Macao I was excited to take pictures of junks in the harbor before docking.  Our sleeping accommodations on the steamer were small but sufficient for us to stay there overnight after we returned from touring Macao.

Macao Harbor View from Steamer

      Our trip to Macao took about three hours so we arrived around 5:30pm which allowed us enough time to still take a tour of Macao.  It was a thrill to steam into the harbor at sunset after passing lots of islands and many fishing boats with sails.

      In Macao we found more old world atmosphere, history, natural beauty and sadness.  Our guide took us to a Communist refugee camp and I was brought to tears time after time.  I decided it was a terrible place to be for the people who had been put in them.  The shacks were so flimsy and the inhabitants who lived in them were so poor and they had so little food.  Our guide told us that they lived on rodents, lizards and even considered dog as a delicacy.  Hearing how poor their situation was made me feel guilty for the blessings I had in my life.  The guide also said that the people there worked very hard to find a job and a home elsewhere so they would be allowed to leave the camp.  I found myself wishing that I could give them all food, money and to help them but I knew that anything I gave them would only be temporary help.  I was glad when we left the camp.

Red China Refugee Camp in Macao

Another View of Red China Refugee Camp in Macao

      After the refugee camp we went through the Buddhist Temple of Hun Yam and I found myself praying to God for the refugees even though it wasn’t a Christian church.  Outside the temple we saw some large dogs tied and the guide explained that they were being fattened up so they could be offered as sacrifices and then eaten.  I knew they were only dogs but seeing those dogs in that condition and knowing what was going to happen to them made me cry again just like I did at the refugee camp.  I couldn’t help but think of Binky back home.

      We found that Portuguese and Cantonese were the dominant languages in Macao although English was also spoken extensively.  We had dinner at the Villa Vista Lodge and I really enjoyed the food.  I tried ordering some of the same dishes Peggy and I had had in Hong Kong.  While I ate I felt a little guilty with so much good food when there were many nearby that had little if any food.

      I found it interesting that Macao had the reputation of being called the “Monte Carlo of the Orient”.   Curt and our tour guide made arrangements for us to go to one of the casinos that evening for some entertainment.  It was fun and I was pleased to have a little diversion after all the sadness of the afternoon.  When I won a little I even had to smile.  Though the casino was fun I was glad when our group went back to the steamer to sleep.  I was very tired and needed to rest. 

     Back on board the steamer I tried to sleep but couldn’t so I got up and walked around the boat’s deck thinking of what I’d seen that day.  I thought that the fresh sea air would make me sleepy but when I went back to bed it didn’t seem to help.  I finally had to give up and take a sleeping pill.  I kept thinking about the refugees and their poor circumstances.

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