Sunday, February 08, 2009

China Uptate

Here is an updated email from April.. It sounds like things are Better and They are now where it is WARM... :)

John asked me to some up China in one word the other day. It took me all of one second to think, Chaotic. I think I made have said that in an earlier post. I guess part of it is just the way of life here. You talk fast, move fast " I mean your guide/rep does it for you" and think fast. Our reps always seem like they are arguing about something to the locals but we've decided that's just the way they communicate. BTW, there's someting wrong w/ my H key and I'm tired of going back to fix the missed H's. Anyway, another part of the chaos is that we have 12 other families in our group. So if one person is missing we wait, if one family is late we wait. We were ALL so happy to leave today and go down South to Guangzhou, Shaiman Island. One reason, it's WARM, another is we're that much closer to coming home. OK. So this AM we're all ready to go, everyones there, we load onto the bus. 20 min into te trip to the airport, dead stop on the road. People just get out of their cars here and walk around when this happen apparently. Hot, annoyed americans on a bus wanting to get on a plane, not good. Our rep is calling people to see what going on. She decided that there is a VIP here and they close down the roads both ways wen tis happens. She said president fromr other country maybe. Any who, she called the airport and told them to hold the plane for us, apparently you can do that here. So chaos in the airport of course, she has us all cut the line of people going through the check point all as she's yelling at everyone in the airport. It's pretty cool actually to get such treatment. We got pull here. We had a great plane ride Felix and Sami slept the whole 2 hours. Shaiman Island is beautiful and warm. We ate a ton at lunch bacause we hadn't eaten yet and it was 2pm, that happens often that you miss meals and have to just eat your snacks that your sick of. Lonae and I went shopping after lunch, had a tea ritual and the kids are sleeping. I love every family we're with, everyone is so great. Yesterday after we went to get our kids passports, the moms went over to a tea shop. I asked te guy how to do this block of tea and then he sits us down for a tea offering. it was such a cool experience. They put so much into serving a cup of tea. Any way, tomorrow we have a city tour, not anything to intense like in Beijing, the hard parts are over now. We'll be going to temples and church and shopping and then a group dinner. Here's a tid bit about Shaiman Island. BTW, as tough as it's been doing all the things we've had to do, I'd do it again in a heart beat. Don't be surprised if we're back in a couple of years!!! We are at the famous White Swan Hotel. Shamian Island, formerly known as Shameen Island, from its Cantonese pronunciation (Chinese: 沙面岛, pinyin: Shāmiàn dǎo) is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, China. The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese.The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs. Since the early 2000s, Shamian Island has become well known for the many Western couples who reside there while seeking to adopt Chinese babies and young children, most of whom are orphaned and female. The White Swan Hotel is perhaps the best-known hotel in Guangzhou, having been in operation for many years, and is usually the hotel of choice for these couples. One reason for this popularity is that the hotel is adjacent to the United States consulate, making it convenient to file paperwork and handle bureaucratic matters. The consular section has since moved to the other side of the city (the whole consulate will move in 2012 as well), but the hotel is still the most popular destination for adopting couples. Beginning in 2007, the Chinese government slowed the rate of adoptions, and as a result the percentage of tourists to Shamian Island who are Westerners has decreased as well

1 comment:

Harpa J said...

I don´t know what to say really, just that the pictures of the family bonding brought tears to my eyes. I hope you get to hug them soon.