Friday, April 13, 2012

Saturday in Guangzhou

Today we met more families in Lifeline's travel group.  All of the children seem to be adjusting well - at different paces and in different ways - but they are all bonding!  We went back to the medical center - which was insanely crowded.  A nurse had to check his TB test.  He had scratched it and made it bleed (we tried to stop him, but he is a bit stubborn), so it had a scab forming and a red area from the initial injection.  I had been nervous about it because the other kids in our group did not have any reaction at all.  His skin is very sensitive, though.  The nurse looked at it, made a comment to our guide, made pen marks, measured it...........all the while my heart is racing and I'm thinking, "PLEASE do not say we have to do  further testing!"  If a child's arm reacts, you have to have an x-ray.  If TB is suspected or diagnosed, kids have to stay for several more days to complete an antibiotic treatment.  I have enjoyed China, but I did NOT want to be stuck here for another week or more!

Thankfully, after measuring it, she said it was fine and we could go.  Whew.

While we were there, we ran into my friend Mandy who we sat in front of on the flight to Hong Kong!!!  I was so excited to meet her Jackzhen and catch up for a minute.

After we left the medical center, we took a taxi to Bejing Road, which is a large shopping district full of upscale and discount stores.  It was VERY crowded.  We went to see some ancient ruins of old roads from different dynasties in China.  These had been discovered in 2002 underground.  We like seeing the history of the culture here, so it was a neat experience.  Plus, we found a PAPA JOHN'S!!!!  I don't even usually like Papa John's at home, but I was THRILLED today!  HA HA!  We also saw a Dairy Queen, but we had two tired kiddos, so we opted to not stop.

We did, however, walk another block to an amazing temple.  It was one of the most fascinating sites we have seen yet.  I loved it!  I felt like I was in the movie, "Mulan."  Apparently the temple is home to some hero gods who protect the city of Guangzhou.  People were coming in and burning incense.  They had areas to pray and bring sacrificial gifts to the gods.  The artwork and architecture were simply stunning.  I stayed for a few minutes, but Jaxson was starting to want out of his stroller and was jabbering away (as usual).  I didn't want to offend anyone, so I waited outside.  Jason took pictures and filmed, hoping that he wasn't breaking some law in the meantime!  :-)

Here is a link that describes/explains the significance of the temple:

We took a taxi back to the hotel and I am now waiting to submit our last round of paperwork for Jaxson's visa.  WOOHOO!  We will go to the consulate on Monday to submit it and take our oath.  Our guide will pick up the visa on Tuesday when it is ready, and we can leave Guangzhou.  His passport was picked up yesterday (yay!) and I will get it at the meeting today.

Tomorrow is the day we have all been looking forward to (other than gotcha day, obviously)!  We get to go to the pearl and jade markets in the morning, and then we get to take a Pearl River cruise tomorrow night!  I am so excited about that.  We will get to see a lot of historic sites and the lights around the river are supposed to be breathtaking.  I think Jaxson and Alexis will love it, too!  We are served dinner on the cruise, so we are going to be a big lunch! Ha ha!  I doubt they are serving Pizza Hut and McDonald's on the ship!

Monday we get to also go to the Guangzhou Zoo and see pandas!  Hayley and I are particularly excited about that. 

Jaxson is doing very well still.  This morning he was a bit more active (hard to believe...we thought Alexis was "wild" at this age) and a bit more stubborn at times.  He can be fiercely independent and strong-willed.  We know a little girl who is just like that! :-)  I don't know if some of his active behavior and stubborn streaks are part of his adjustment or just who he is!  I still think he listens and follows directions very well despite the language barrier.  He got mad at me earlier today and tried to hit me, so we asked our guide to teach us various versions of "no" so that we could try to express this to him.  There are so many dialects in is hard to communicate even if someone speaks "Chinese."  I feel like we are walking a fine line with trying to bond and connect with him, and trying to help him behave.  It's a bit more challenging than those who adopt a "baby" because he is at that "I want to be independent and wild" two-year old stage.  We are not trying to make any valiant efforts with discipline right now, although we can't let him hit us and spit (his new favorite thing).  We have been trying to praise him when he gets frustrated and doesn't show aggression.  It doesn't happen often, as he is generally very happy.  He just does not like to be still.  Even our DVD player doesn't distract him (it always did Alexis at that age).  Oh, the plane ride home should be interesting...

Here are some pictures from today!

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