Header Image - Heike Schaefer

I am walking – alone!

After the guided tour the day before I was brave enough to go now on my own into town. I had the address written in chinese with me. So if I would get lost I had learnt how to stop a taxi and let me bring home.

From the window in the apartment I can see a bus terminal. And I can see a lot of designed fishes. I was interested to see them clearer. They are all big and painted by kids. I can’t read chinese. So I don’t know exactly what they are for. But they enhance the street!



The town

After two days in and around the compound I had the luck to met Juliane. Juliane works also in Ningbo like Bruno and Marie-Claire. All three work for the university of Nottingham. Juliane is German and lives here since 5 years. She and her friend gave me a tour through Ningbo including an evening meal.

Ningbo is a town with a population of round 3 -4 Mio. Normally extreme busy and full of people. But now it is chinese New Year. I was happy when I heard this. I was expecting a lot of traditional things going on. But Ningbo is not more a traditional town. The people leave the town and go home. Where ever „home“ is. China has a law what says that kids have to look after their parents and have to visit them once a month! Most shops are closed. Hardly a restaurant is open. And the town is empty. The positive thing of this is : I can see blue sky and also the mountains in the distance. A really rare thing, they told me.

If you think about New York without people then you know how Ningbo looks in the moment. WIde streets, places and parks and hardly anybody.



If you ever go on your own to China have good shoes! I think we walked from 3 pm till 8 pm. But it was worth every minute! Thank you on this way again to Juliane!

At the end of our tour we had dinner together. Because the chines restaurants were all closed we ended in an indian restaurant where we found a spicy delicious meal. The surprise at the end was that the restaurant offered a free car drive home to our place.

Ningbo, China

This time I travel far away for the house sitting. I go to China. Since I can remember I wanted visit China. Not just a booked tour where somebody tells me where to go, what to eat and what to see. I really wanted time to sit somewhere, eat what I find and talk to people. So, when Bruno and Marie-Claire asked whether I would come for just a week and look after their two dogs and the apartment I agreed immediately. Also when it is a big expense for just one week. So I choose to extend my stay for 3 days on the way back to New Zealand. I booked a hotel in Guangzhou.

I soon found the airline. I only had to change the plane once. The first step brought me to Guangzhou, the former Kanton. After 2 hours I would take another plane to Ningbo,the destination to stay for the housesitting. There were already house sitters who gave me a short advice about important things and then I was alone. „Lost in China“? Oh, for the first day I really felt lost. Nothing I could read, I could understand or ask. So I stayed together with the dogs in the compound.Dogs? Here are my guides:






Both dogs are „rescued streetdogs“. They live now together with Bruno and Marie-Claire.

My dreams and thoughts about China were influenced by novels from Pearl S.Buck. She was the daughter of missionaries in China. Pearl S. Buck wrote a lot, got a Nobel Price for her books. And I read a lot of them. I id know that China has changed totally since she lived here. But I wanted see whether I could find something of her books.


Rockpool farm



Bryan had for many years near Timaru a deer farm. We got permission from the current owner to visit the farm and do some shot from the animals.

Some of the deer have enormous endlers. This boy may have the biggest endler in the world! End of January he will be measured .


It was very interesting to see the bis herd of animals.