Thursday 29th April. A couple of days ago Mr Peng dropped the bombshell that he has to go back to Beijing as his elderly father is very ill. Of course he must go, but it is a blow to lose my indispensable right hand man.
Luckily we have had help from the family of Amin Shan, a nice young Uighur working in the Animal Health department who we met at Xingxingxia. The Uighurs are a Turki race who form a large percentage of the population in Xinjiang, and are Muslims. Here we all are at a Uighur restaurant in downtown Hami.
Amiin Shah is being mother and on his right is brother Delat Shah, who speaks excellent English. On the far left is their father, and the good news is that he has not only helped us to source fodder, but has also found us a new driver, an imposing Uighur by the name of Niyaz. Here is Peng with Niyaz and his wife. The one drawback is that I cannot understand a word Niyaz says in Chinese let alone any other language, so the next stage promises to be an interesting challenge. Peng hopes to be back as soon as possible, but of course these things are in the lap of the gods.