I spent a good part of the day cruising around Liaocheng last Sunday looking for someone to talk to and eventually found this group of older men hanging out in an open courtyard while their kites drifted around in the breeze.  Their accents were pretty thick and at times it was hard for me to understand them, but the little girl in the third picture down stepped in as my translator.  Her name was Mei and she was one smart cookie.  She spoke to me slowly and concisely, and even started teaching me new words.  Most kids either giggle, point, or stare wide-mouthed at my appearance, but Mei was quite the opposite.  She had more poise than most college students I meet on campus, and I was glad to have met her.