Wednesday, July 8, 2009

group email from July 2

Hello everyone! I haven’t been doing daily updates because we’ve been keeping it simple lately. Tonight is our last night in China. We leave tomorrow morning! I’m excited to get back home. We have had a great time here though. C is doing really well. Taking it easy these last few days has been the right thing to do. She is starting to listen really well and isn’t nearly as naughty:-) She is also much more affectionate. She cuddles us now and will even come to us for comfort when she needs it. So it’s really good. She’s also gone from being terrified of leaving to being really excited to go. Today we packed and she was so excited to help us. She loved getting her backpack all ready for the plane. She was walking around the hotel room with it on:-) We also made an Itinerary for her, so she’ll understand what’s going on with all of the plane changes. It was really funny because we sat together with her and using the dictionary and the flash cards that we have we explained the layovers and where they were etc. I then drew a picture of the three of us getting on the plane and stopping at our layovers and changing planes etc. And then I attempted to write out some simple things under each picture to help her remember. I would write “Airport- Japan.” She saw what I was writing, took the pencil from me, scratched it out- shaking her head- and then rewrote it! Hahaha! Apparently my Chinese characters were bad hahaha! Well, this was only my second attempt at writing in Chinese:-) Hey I consider it a compliment that she at least knew what I was writing! She also told us today that she is happy to see T, J and R but that she doesn’t want Jakob and Charlie!:-) I told her that they were nice and that she didn’t need to be afraid but she doesn’t care. She wants nothing to do with them! Ha! Well, too bad missy:-) I’m not too worried about it. J and R were terrified of the dogs at first too. They got over it and she will too. We love our poochies- they are sweeties: -) She likes the puppies at the pet market (Jakob and Charlie are a bit bigger hahaha!) but I think it shows that she has it in her to like the dogs once she realizes they aren’t going to eat her:-)
Well, today being our last day we decided to go out. When our guide found out about everything that we’ve been doing (when we had our embassy appointment) he seemed surprised (I wonder if most families stay put more?) and asked if we would like him to take us anywhere. He then offered to take us to “the mountain.” Baiyun (white cloud) Mountain is outside of the city. We very enthusiastically took him up on his offer. I have really been wanting to get out of the city! So he picked us up this morning. It was so great! I loved getting out of the city! We were surprised to see that Guangzhou is surrounded by mountains. From the top of Biayun you could see a lot of the city (not all of it because the city is HUGE!) It was of course very hazy around the city. The city just goes on and on. Kevin took a bunch of shots, we hope to put them all together in photoshop the way I put together the photos of Manhattan that Kevin took when we went to NY. On the way up the mountain there were HUGE spiderwebs between trees with yellow and black spiders on them at least 3 inches wide! I laughed and said it was a good thing R wasn’t there:-) But my favorite part was I got see some of those giant Bamboo trees! I told Kevin that we needed to start running along the tops of them like they do in “Crouching tiger hidden dragon.” ;-) Whenever we see the bamboo scaffolding I keep saying how I would love to see those trees- so I was so happy that we got to see them before we went home! Also at the top of the mountain was an aviary- sort of a bird zoo. That was really neat as well. You walk through a series of doors and then into a part of the forest that has huge nets all over the top- acres covered in this netting that stretches out above the tree tops. It allows the birds to fly freely but also allows you to walk among them. They aren’t at all afraid of people either. We saw workers feeding them so they are obviously used to people. C loved it. Swans and cranes etc just walk right past you like it’s no big deal. Birds fly over you and land on branches inches from you. It was really cool. We saw some beautiful and very colorful birds. There was also a bird show that truthfully was kind of lame and even C could’ve cared less about it. It was more fun to walk around and see the birds. I even caught a glimpse of the famous Chinese cranes -the white ones with the red on their heads. They were in an area that had bars in their way and signs that said restricted area so we couldn’t get close- we could just barely see them through the trees. I know these birds are very endangered and have read about efforts to try to repopulate them in China, so maybe that’s why they were separated. It was neat to at least see them from a distance. I’ve seen them in so many Chinese paintings- we even have a big one at home. So again, that was fun for me and something I’m glad I got see before leaving China.
After coming back from the mountain we packed and are getting ready to leave in the morning. C knows which presents are for J and R and T. It’s very cute. I hope she stays excited about the airplane… I’m also worried about how she will do on the long flight home. Well, she’s got a backpack full of activities and I’ve got a bottle of motion-sick pills for her! So hopefully, she’ll be okay! This is my last email from China! We will see you back home!!!!
Love, Anita

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