Friday, January 22, 2016
Today is the day we take the high speed bullet train from Changsha to Guangzhou. However, we don't leave the hotel until 2pm. Our guide, Ashley, is getting all the paperwork picked up and ready for us to take with us, so we don't have a guide till 2pm. We slept in and Skyped with the kids and by the time we got down to the breakfast area, there were only 20 minutes left. So, I took her around to the different foods and asked her which ones she liked. We have discovered she loves yogurt and these clear cube looking fruits. She also likes warm soy milk and bacon. The first day we had to bring the bacon in a napkin because we were late with getting to our guide and from then on, she thinks bacon belongs in a napkin and that we bring it with us. Ha ha...
We went back to our room to kill time. As I said yesterday, she is very curious about every thing and wants to find out how things work. At first, we were saying no to items that normally we wouldn't let the kids play with like fingernail clippers and routers, etc. but when we realized she just wanted to find out how they work, we began teaching her instead of just saying no and taking them away. The fingernail clippers she learned how to open and pinched them open and closed. She wanted to open up the sewing kit in our hotel with needle and thread. Our instinct was to tell her no and take it away, but Ben opened it up for her and was shocked to find out she knew how to sew!!! She began sewing her shirt with a needle and pink thread. She knew what to do at the end to tie it off and didn't prick her self at all!!! We were amazed and decided we would bring this on the plane to occupy part of the 14 hour plane ride home! We definitely want to continue this when we get back home and are looking forward to getting sewing kits for kids from the craft stores. It's either in her blood (coming from a province where silk embroidery is so popular), she's brilliant ( we already believe this to be true regardless) and learned by watching the ladies at the silk factory the other day), or the orphanage taught her to do this while she was there (a possibility, as they had an art teacher come in to teach them art, so maybe a seamstress came in to teach them how to sew?).
We ate lunch and spent the last hour playing chase in our room and 'ride the suitcase'. It's amazing what you can do in a small space with few items. Then it came time to meet our guide and say goodbye to Changsha. We drove to the train station and said goodbye to Ashley. We then had to manhandle all of our luggage (3 big suitcases, 2 duffle bags, a lap top bag and a backpack!) and a 4 ½ year old girl through the ticket line, security, up the escalator and to the 13th gate. We waited about 30 minutes until it was time to go through the gate. We got into line and as Ben handed the tickets to the lady at the gate, she shook her head and handed them back saying something in Chinese. We were so confused and I barely heard her say, “wait!” so we waited while a bunch of other people went through. We weren't sure what was wrong, was it full? Was there something wrong with our tickets? Our guide couldn't come in past security and no one spoke English. Other people were in line with us and they weren't allowed to come through either. I looked up and saw that another train B12 was boarding now and B 13 still had 6 minutes left on it. Sure enough, they weren't boarding for 13 yet, only 12 and once the 12 train left, then we were able to manhandle all the luggage and Lucee through the gate with the crowd pushing all around us, and down the escalator to the train platform. Right before going down the escalator, an Asian man came up and said, “you need help?” we were thankful for the offer but declined. I made sure to memorize what he looked like in case we needed a translator on the train, ha ha. Even though, those may have been the only English words he knew, it was a breath of fresh air to know someone could speak a little English.
We got on our train and Lucee wanted to sit on my lap, so our 3rd seat sat empty for the 2hr 40 minute trip. I”m sure the man next to it was happy to have the extra space. Even though we were pleasantly surprised by how spacious the train seats were! It was very comfortable! The train got up to 307km/hour. I'll have to figure out how many mph that is equal to. When it went through tunnels, my ears popped. We were very nervous with how Lucee would handle the train ride. She doesn't like to be confined to one spot for very long and definitely doesn't like to be told no. We made sure to pack lots of snacks and she ended up doing really well. In the van ride over to the train station, she got really sad looking and wanted to take off her coat. After she did that, she threw up a little, indicating she might be motion sick... hopefully the train and plane rides won't affect her.
The train ride went great, even with it taking 20 minutes longer than scheduled. It was amazing to see the countryside and the old buildings out in the middle of no where. Several times other trains would pass next to us going the opposite direction. It was crazy how fast we were going. We got to Guangzhou and grabbed all the luggage again to make it off and to the gates where we met our next guide, Jack. Instantly he reminded me of an Asian version of my Uncle Richard. He was very nice and spoke English well. He told us we'd meet tomorrow morning at 930 am to head to the clinic for Lucee's health exam and TB test which are required for her to get her US Visa. He walked us up to our room which was different than the other guides. He played with Lucee and spoke Chinese with her. Again, reminding me of how my Uncle Richard interacts with our other kids. Then he said good night and left. We unpacked a bit and then Lucee and I finished unpacking while Ben went out to get dinner. Lucee got beef noodles and Ben and I got a veggie pizza from Pizza Hut. The pizza tasted just like the Pizza Hut back home, with the tiny exception that they put corn and eggplant on the veggie pizza. Guangzhou is very westernized and it is very international as well. We have already seen almost as many foreigners as we've seen people from China. People from Africa, India, Europe, etc. and a lot of the people at our hotel speak English. We've heard from other families who have adopted from China that Guangzhou is a breath of fresh air. There's a Starbucks, KFC McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Mexican and Thai restaurant all near our hotel within walking distance. We definitely don't feel like we are in the minority as much here.
Guangzhou is a tropical place normally. We see palm trees and tropical flowers everywhere. However, we are here on the coldest weeks of the year. In fact, it's supposed to be the coldest tomorrow than it's been in over 20 years!
I forgot to mention that in the van ride from the train station to our hotel in Guangzhou, Lucee fell asleep in Ben's lap (yes, they don't use seat-belts much here and anytime we are in a vehicle, Lucee sits on one of our laps... pray for us as she gets back to America and is confined to a car seat!!). She woke up in a great mood and was very pleasant the rest of the night. This was her first “nap” she's had since she's been with us. It gave us hope that even if it's a battle, it would be good for her to have a nap (like she did in the orphanage) because there are less meltdowns the rest of the day when she napped. She also had no trouble going to sleep. Tomorrow we will attempt to have her take a nap. She slept great the whole night. One time, I woke up to her giggling in her sleep. We are so thankful that God placed this little girl in our family!
|Working intently on sewing her shirt. :)|
|Riding the suitcase!|
|All packed and ready to go to the final destination!!|
|In Train Station|
|Waiting for the train...|
|Riding on the bullet train!|