Monday, September 14, 2009

September 12 &13 2008 Last Stop Guangzhou


Go Bucks!! Beat USC!!

Amber, you are not going to believe this. We get to the hotel and check in. Got to the elevator to go up to our room. The doors open and I hear Paul yell, "O-H." Scared me to death!! Then, I hear a response "I-O". Then, I see a couple decked out in their Ohio State shirts. Can you believe that??? They are from Ohio!

This morning, at 9:45, we left our hotel headed for the Nanning airport. I never really understood when others who have gone before me said they were sad to leave their child's province. Today, I understood. I understood but with mixed emotions. She is leaving her people, those who look like her. In the U.S., she will be a minority and she will not be part of a country that is centuries old with more history than we can imagine.
And, somewhere in the Guangxi province are her parents. I wonder about them. I wonder if they think about her all the time. I wonder if they are sad. I wonder what they look like. And, no matter how much we love her, I think deep down, she may always feel a sense of loss. And, even though she is so young, there are things about her that we can't love and hug away. I know we have only had her for 5 days, but it makes me really sad to watch her fall asleep. She about scratches her eyes out. I can't help but think this is some self-soothing she's doing to put herself to sleep. And, the way she plays. She can sit and play with the smallest thing forever. Did you see the novels she was reading?? Ok, well, she's not really reading them, but those books are there because she loves to flip pages and she will do it for a long time. Somehow, the pages stay intact too.
Now that I have totally depressed myself..... There is another part of me that knows she is so blessed. I will get to introduce her to my Father who can heal and mend delicate, fragile hearts He can fill that sense of loss like no one else can. I am not sure how much I should say in this blog, so maybe I will talk more about this when I get home
Then, there is a small part of me that is just angry. We weighed her today (not her official medical exam, that will be Monday morning). I am pretty sure she weighs 11 pounds. Honestly, I don't know how much longer she could have held on. After 5 days of good nutrition, she is starting act a bit more her age. She is grabbing things. Now, she always grabbed her toys, but she never tried to grab things off the table while we were eating. She is squirmy now. She can roll from back to front and from front to back. She wants to get down. Although I am not sure where she thinks she is going. She can't crawl, but she is starting to pull herself to standing while we are laying on the bed with her. Then she thinks she can walk. But, she is much to weak for that with no muscle tone, but it will come And, it will be fun to watch all of that happen.
So, as you can see, my emotions are all over the map. One emotion that remains constant is that we love her. We are so thankful that God put us through the events that lead us to her. I think because of that... we cherish her all the more.

Enough of all that!
It was a one hour flight from Nanning to Guangzhou. Emme did great! It was her test flight to see if she could handle the one that is 19 hours! She can! One hour... 19, is there a difference?
We met our new guide, Helen. I tell you, when these people pick us up, they wear us out before we get to the hotel. Their mouths go a hundred miles and hour. So, we are trying to take it all. Factor in that some words take several minutes to decipher. For example, it took me days to realize that our first guide, Grace, was saying building and not beauty. She was pointing to the different buildings. I was so confused. So, finally, I said to Paul, " Does she really think all these buildings are that beautiful cuz some of them look like if a good stiff wind comes along, they are going down." He said, "She is saying BUILDING not beauty!" Oh, well that makes a lot more sense.
Anyway, so sometimes after you finally get a word deciphered, you have to go back and put the whole paragraph together. It's just a lot of work!
Around 1, we arrived at the famous White Swan. I didn't have very high expectations because of some different things that I have read, but I love it here. I wouldn't change my experiences in Beijing or Nanning, but I think the hotel and the area is beautiful. That's beautiful not building, but I also think the buildings are beautiful!:-)
They say the White Swan is on an island, but if you asked me, which no one did, it's not an island. Anyway, it is different than the cities we've been in- where high rises loom over everything. On the "island", I think the White Swan may be the only high rise. Otherwise, the buildings are very European looking. They are smaller, maybe only 6 stories, at the most. The sidewalks are cobblestone or brick. It feels very quaint here. The restaurants have more than ox shin and fish lips. It's just picturesque of something you would see in a smaller European town. And, you can walk around the island in about 25 minutes because the sea of people mostly reside off the "island". When I think about it that way, it should be called Paradise Island!
This afternoon, Emme needed a nap and I took one with her. The first nap I have taken. You'd think that flight was a day and not an hour. I was so tired!
When she woke up, after I pulled Paul off the computer as he was frantically looking at how he could watch the OSU USC game, we walked and decided to eat dinner at an Italian restaurant. It actually felt like I was in Italy and not China.
When we sat down, there were 4 younger Americans sitting across from us. They saw Paul's OSU shirt and said "hi" to us. Guess where they were from??? Well, one was from Cincinnati, but one was from Oakwood, his house being on Irving Ave right across from the University of Dayton. (For those of you who don't get this, it's 10 minutes from our house!) How funny is that??
They told us we should get the pizza, so we did. We also got lasagna so Emme could eat something. The pizza was fabulous. The lasagna.... I don't know. It was brown under the cheese. It looked like paste. I think it was cat. I took one bite and I was done. It was awful! We gave Emme a few bites. We think it's cat... so we give to our daughter. Aren't we great parents??
It takes her FOREVER to gum something! And, she is such a lady. She moves her little mouth like she is chewing and she WILL NOT take another bite until that bite has found it's way down the hatch. We were about to pull our hair out! We stopped on the way home and got baby food. That's what she needs until she can eat faster!
Tomorrow, we are going to the Pearl Market! Shopping! Yippee!!

Praise the Lord for Guangzhou! When I saw breakfast this morning, I was sure I had died and gone to heaven. It was so beautiful that I may have to take pictures of it tomorrow morning! It was the best thing I have eaten since I have been here. It made me feel like I was on a cruise ship. There's a huge glass wall that overlooks the Pearl River. Now, the Pearl River is not the ocean, but TODAY, it was close enough!
After breakfast, our guide picked us up and we went to the pearl market. Yesterday, on the comments, Rett said they used the term rather lightly. Boy was she right!! It was a mall for crying out loud. People could tell me that this place has the best quality and on and on and on, but I wouldn't know the difference. I had to trust that Helen, our guide, was telling the truth. They still cost a bit more than I wanted to pay but I think I'd have been upset if I didn't buy some. Helen also told us that they double knot the string between every pearl. If there is a break, the whole strand doesn't fall apart. She told us it was $60 in the states just for the knotting. After spending that money, we walked around that mall for a long time but didn't buy anything else.
After this, we went to the French version of Walmart to get boring things like water, baby food and formula. That one store was like a mall; it was huge. I don't know how people do it without a guide. I wouldn't have been able to find anything.
We came back to the White Swan and feed Emme some lunch and we ate some noodles. (We are so boring!) Then, Helen came to help us fill out paperwork. Right before Helen arrived I was showing Emme how to take a Cheerio and put it in her mouth. Paul kept practicing with her and by the time Helen left, she was doing it by herself. Also, she was rolling all over the bed- front to back, back to front! It was a big day for Emme! She's doing GREAT!!
After Emme's nap, we went to dinner at an American-Chinese place called Lucy's. Paul ordered a chicken burrito. Getting Mexican food at a place like that is like getting biscuits and gravy at PF Changs! Yuck! Paul says if he doesn't get sick from that, he won't get sick!
Speaking of food, (anyone else think I spend half my time talking about the food here. I just can never get over it.) there is a 7-11 here. When is the last time you've seen a 7-11?? Poor Paul, all he wanted was have a fountain Mountain Dew and for the Buckeyes to beat USC. His world came crashing down:-) He said, "All 7-11's have Mountain Dew!" I don't think there is Mountain Dew anywhere in China. He's looked everywhere! And, at our convenience stores, we have hotdogs, right? There are other things, but you know what I mean. Well, at this place, I kept seeing this guy scoop out these steaming hot round things into a little plastic cup. The Chinese people were buying them like mad! They would then put ketchup all over them and pop them in their mouths. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to ask because it looked disgusting. Ready?? They're fish balls! Coming soon to a 7-11 near you!
Finally, we walked around "the island" and bought some squeaky shoes for Emme's first 3 years of life. We ended the night by getting her some ice cream. Ice cream makes her very happy!!:-)

Is this the most boring post you have ever read??? I'm tired!

Sharla, doesn't Abby have the same PJ's???


Chubby Baby Designs said...

I love reading your China posts all over again, remembering the blessings and struggles. Still amazed at what God has done! Hope to have a story like this to share someday...still praying!

Tony and Rett said...

SO bummed we didn't get to travel together. I think it would have been a, except for the vomiting and such from you at the beginning of the trip, and Tony at the end. :)

Love those Emme pics!

The Gang's Momma said...

Haaaa haaaa haaaa! I sooo remember sitting in my hotel in Beijing and then Xian reading all your adventures. Part of me wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it all and part of me wanted to scream in frustration with/for you. You had such an, ummmm, interesting, yeah we'll go with that, perspective all the way. Kept me laughing for sure. . .

I still regret that you were just a few days ahead of us - darned stay requirements in Xian kept us there 2 days longer and made us miss you. Promise me if you ever get to the "greater Philly region" you'll let me know?!

Happy Family Day, Gotcha Day, whatever is in vogue now. So glad we could "travel" the journey together, via the blogs . . .