Hi everyone! It's Tuesday AM in GZ and we just got back from the consulate. Everything went perfectly and TT's immigration paperwork is good to go. She signed her name to the papers and everything! We get her passport back tomorrow with the U.S. visa inside and the "brown envelope" which we hand carry to immigration in the Chicago airport. We basically have free time the rest of today and tomorrow. Thursday AM we drive to HK and have an afternoon and evening there (excited about sightseeing there). Please pray for TT on the bus ride... she is really suffering from motion sickness and throws up almost anytime we go in a taxi or bus-- usually after we get out, which does help. We have medicine that seems to work some of the time. She gets embarrassed by this so that's the other thing. China has been challenging and amazing but I can tell my mind is turning towards home. We cannot wait to hug your necks!
Yesterday we spent the AM at this wonderful park that is across the (giant, 8 lane) street from the hotel. There is a lake (like a river, really) and you can rent paddleboats or "electric luxury yachts" (a slight misnomer, they make the W.P. boat tour look like true yachts) to go around the lake. We opted for the electric version so the girls could steer and they had a blast. A well spent $8 for a half-hour tour. We also climbed the rock stuctures and explored the paths. There are many statues and lovely plant designs so there is always something to see. Plus lots of older folks dancing, playing shuttlecock, and cards as we strolled around. The girls could run around and we had a lot of fun just playing. Forgot the camera, so no pics. :(
In the afternoon, back to Shamian Island to get the girls' TB tests read. Everyone passed- yay! Then 3 hours to shop/bargain and stroll the island. I enjoyed SI way more this time. The weather was gorgeous -- cool and sunny-- and I knew that we would be stalked by the sales people so I didn't let it bother me too much. All the families took the girls into the White Swan for a potty break, waterfall & red couch pics. Actually, our red couch pic has all the kids on the trip-- bio and adopted! Last night one of the dads in the group, who is Chinese American, offered to take the group to get a real Cantonese dinner. We took a crazy cab ride through GZ neighborhoods to a restaurant that was huge-- 4 stories tall! We had a room just for our group and feasted on a lot of "new" things. I tried sea cucumber (tasty but the texture was strange) and an unidentified sea creature (David wasn't sure how to translate the name into English.) It resembled calamari, without the breading. We also had the best-tasting fish- ginger sauce. Once I got past the fin -- David did request that the head be removed for us gringos-- it was delicious. We got back super late which has made for a tougher morning. We were up at the crack of dawn for our consulate appt. and left the hotel by 7:30 am.
Things are wrapping up as a group... our group pic will be taken in a few min. This afternoon we plan to find a bookstore our guide recommended to get some books for TT, then prob back to the hotel to swim now that TT has passed her TB test. Tomorrow, the park, maybe back to Shamian and packing to come HOME! We are so thankful for all the love and prayers for TT... especially as she is about to face one of the biggest adjustments of all.
I've missed hearing from all of you... please write!!! Hope everyone is OK.