Thursday, September 11, 2008

Green Mountain Park

This is what we see out every window... all different views from out hotel room. (Pictures explained in post.)
Our guide Cindy and Fronk... I mean David (Vince and Mary's guide)  Wendy might weigh 70 lbs.  Maybe it's because of the concession stands in China (see later picture).
The fish... they need a one fish policy in China!

I forgot to add this picture the other day.  This is all Emme came with.  I love that little dress.  2 bottles that I am pretty sure were in a war and grapes the size of Emme's head.  Are they kidding telling me she loved them.  Honestly, it takes her 5 minutes to gum a Cheerio.

     I hope you are all satisfied with the pictures of me (end of post).  See what she does when I hold her.  She pitches a fit!  I hope you feel good about the pain and anguish you caused her so you could believe I was really in China.  And, by the way, she doesn't hate getting her diaper changed, her clothes changed or getting a bath.  She just hates it when I am the one doing those things.  If Paul does it, she's fine.  What is up with that??
     So, today we went to Green Mountain Park.  And, if I lived in Nanning, I'd build myself a hole in the side of the mountain in that beautiful park so I could get away from the 6.5 million people who live in this city.  Before I go on, I absolutely love Chinese people!  (Good thing...cuz one is my daughter, right?)  They are kind and patient.  When we walk into a restaurant, someone sweeps us off to the side (usually someone who speaks a bit of English).  They give us a picture menu, take our order, allow us to pay apart from the others in line... even at McDonald's.  I don't think we treat foreigners this way.  Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really do love them.  I am sure there is crime, but I feel really safe here too.
     Anyway, back to living in Nanning.  I am pretty sure that 3 million of those people live right around our hotel.  There is a constant flow  of bikes, motor scooters and cars.  I have said it before and I will say it again and unless you see it for yourself, it's hard to believe, but traffic rules are just a suggestion.  Please, let me give you an example.  Today, when Cindy and our driver picked us up at our hotel, the area was engulfed in a sea of people.  This in part is due to the fact that The Moon Festival is this weekend and apparently, the hot spot to buy these moon cakes is next to our hotel.  So, we finally get out of the drive by our hotel that leads to the main road and there are cars and bikes everywhere.  We are sitting in the middle of the road of oncoming traffic trying to get over to the three lanes that went North, the direction we needed to go.  Our driver, John couldn't get to those lanes, so he just makes a new lane heading north which is in the direction of the oncoming traffic headed South.  And, SOMEHOW, this is ok with everyone.  No one honks.  The cars coming South try to move over for him.  Then, I guess John doesn't want to wait to turn left, so he turns right, going RIGHT IN FRONT of the other three lanes of traffic waiting to go North.  Again, no one honks or anything.  So, he goes down the road a bit, and decides to do a Uturn right in the middle of the road with traffic coming straight at us.  Then there are 20 bikes/scooters trying to get across the road and John just goes at them like they are bowling pins.  Somehow, by the grace of God almighty, people either veer or stop.  And, this kind of behavior is going on all over this city.  And, everyone just drives with a straight face acting like this is NORMAL!  I guess to them it is.  I have yet to see a car accident or any of the 5oo,ooo motor scooters get hit.  This in and of itself should tell you how kind and patient the Chinese are.  In our country, there would be road rage all over the place.  
     Whew... I am worn out!
     So, we make it to this haven in Nanning where I only see like 100 people in this whole huge park.  The first thing we do it feed these fish.  If you ask me, by the size of these things, they don't need to be feed.  But, what they do need is a one fish policy among this school of fish living in this lake. 
     Then we climb up the Great Wall of Nanning (it felt like it anyway!) to a 9 story pagoda.  Once at the top, we are at the highest point in Nanning, so we can see the whole city.  And, with all due respect and somberness, it is very easy to understand how so many people can die here in an earthquake.  I have never seen a house in Nanning or Beijing.  People live in massive high rises.  Many of them should not be able to pass a building inspection let alone stand up through an earthquake.  Very sad!
     By the time we left the park, we were again covered in sweat.  We came back ate a noodle lunch again and sat in this silly hotel room until 6.  Emme took a long nap.  I read and read. Paul did some work and then worked out.  
     I can't exercise here because the Fitness Center is behind our hotel in another building. It just looks shady to me.  And, I think the pool outside the workout facility belongs to the hotel.  But, every time I look down from my room I see lots of Chinese people doing the breast stroke.  They all do the breast stroke.  I haven't figured this exercise out for them yet.  It's not like they are doing the Michael Phelps breast stroke.  It is very leisurely.  Then, the men, who have on these European bathing suits, hiked up to their chest, go into the workout room and workout in these same shorts with no shirts. It's just too much for me!
     Dinner, again with our friends Vince, Mary and Malia: roasted crocodile steak, conger eel spaghetti, superior sharks fin with conpoy and crab cream, boiled fish lip with mustard and ginkgo, ox shin with edible fungus and satay, braised turtle with cereal in chicken sauce, stewed superior fish maw (what the heck??  Actually, I don't want to know) with french mushrooms, stewed turtle with mushrooms OR PIZZA HUT?  HMMMMM we chose Pizza Hut.  We got a little crazy and got some spicy chicken on our pizza.  How about that for wild eating in China??
     I'm going to wrap it all up with this final thought...  I was looking at little Emme tonight and feeling sad for her thinking about all the time she must have gone hungry.  When I thought, "Had she not had not gone through this horrible time, she would not be special needs.  If she wasn't a special needs child, she would likely not be ours."  What others meant for evil, GOD used for good.  (See the story of Joseph in Genesis)  And all God's people said..... AMEN!

Emme loves her mommy.... not!
Wow, all 12 pounds throws a temper tantrum!  Check out those gums!  No teeth! None. Nada. Zilch!
What dad?

Our friends- Vince, Mary and precious Malia.  Thank God for them!!:-)  
On the way up to the pagoda.....
The pagoda sideways... sorry, don't know how to turn it around.
I get a little excited every time I see I concession stand.  Until I remember I am in CHINA!  Cup of noodles, pickled who knows what in those jars.  Have these people ever heard of soft pretzels, cotton candy or popcorn???
I gotta take some lessons.  Here are older woman in 95 degree heat in 100% humidity in LONG pants and LONG sleeved shirts working away.  I pull one weed when it's this hot at home and I have to go rest.


Sharla said...

Hi April,

I LOVE reading your accounts each crack me up!! By the way, you look beautiful! I completely empathize with the "get me out of mom's arms" tantrum...imagine that with a 6 year old!

What a beautiful thought at the end or your post...what the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good! His good is so AMAZING!!

Sweet blessings,

gnangle04 said...


I love having something to look forward to every day, with your words and pictures. You need to become a writer.... or get paid to blog! I'm thinking you were meant for this.

I love how you see the positive side of poor little Emme being so hungry. God did bring good out of it all. She is so blessed to have you guys... and you, of course, are blessed to have her.


Chubby Baby Designs said...

I was up this morning, and as I do wach morning since you've been gone, I came down to read your post. It didn't show up until later, and I just wanna say * I miss you!*
THANK YOU for taking pics with her as terrifing as it must have been for her to have her hold her ;) You look AMAZING April, so beautiful! Seeing you both with her, holding her, wow...we can see how tiny she really is. SO seeing that 3-6 mo might be lacking in her wardrobe, I just had to do a little shopping last night at the good ol' GAP :)
I love coming along with you in your stories of the *Adventures of Emme* thank you for sharring!
Lori is praying for you today as you travel.
Love ya!

Jodi said...

I have enjoyed reading all about your adoption! My friend Angel (who adopted from China also - blessedwith4) has been keeping up with you guys and told me I had to look at your blog! Emme is amazing! She will be your best friend in time! Your writing is quite entertaining and the pictures are awesome (what a strange bear - I agree. . . good costume)! We in South Carolina wish you a safe and healthy trip! Take care!

Tony and Rett said...


I love that you finally "understand" what we meant by traffic laws (I laugh at this loose term) from when we were there!

And you're right...I feel the exact same way about our Abby girl. Had she not been diagnosed with what she was, we would have never had the opportunity to be her parents. Thank God!

The Straight's said...

I have really been enjoying your trip right along with you. Thanks for the details and posting the great pics!

Rachael said...

Ok, I know it caused a lot of anguish; however I loved seeing you in the pictures today. :) Now we know you are really there and not still at home next to your computer blogging. :) You look great by the way and you look even better with Emme in your arms.

I could not handle the traffic. I get nervous driving downtown where we live... couldn't imagine. So glad you had a driver and didn't have to drive yourself.

You are right about Emme, she was absolutely supposed to be with you and Paul. Whatever it took to get her there is a blessing and completely fixable with some good home cooked meals. :)

When you get home can you still blog and pretend you are still in China??? Take pictures of the laundry you are doing or dishes that need done or something??? I am going to go through blog withdrawal. :)

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

i think it's hilarious that she is so attached to paul. it is probably a little sad for you, but i was cracking up at the pictures of you two - - and then seeing how calm she is with paul.

nick and i made friends with some chinese exchange students so when you and paul get home we will be sure to have them make you an authentic dinner (since is sounds like you will be going through withdraw from all the delicious chinese food)

i call dibs on babysitting when you get back.

(...oh and i followed darja when she dropped off your car - - it literally took 2 hours because she and steve got lost so many times)


catbertie said...

Oh your posts bring back such memories!!! Emme really does resemble my daughter when she was adopted at 13 months....maybe 12 pounds wet!!! She's a tiger now.
Many blessings,

Donna Brandabur said...

Thanks for the pictures of you and Emme. so sorry she cries so much with you. I remember Tonya Myers from our church saying that their first little one preferred her husband by leaps and bounds at first as well, I wonder if they are sometimes abused by women and thus have an automatic fear reaction to any woman? I am assuming there are probably more women working in the orphanages than men.

You are such a funny writer! I laughed out loud today reading your blog. You always say you don't know what your gift is. Well, I'll tell you sister, it is writing. I am just amazed at how you remember so much and in so much detail.

You might give my heart throb Donald Miller a run for his money!

Love ya,

Judy said...

I found your blog on Chinaadoptionsites and have been following your journey to your precious daughter. She is beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your posting tonight has made me laugh so hard. You brought back many memories from when we adopted our little girl last summer.
Have a safe rest of the trip.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys... just checking in on you tonight. Man, seeing pictures of your little Emme... I just want to eat her up. She reminds me (not so much looks, just size and innocence) of Sophia and it pulls my heart so much to know that she, and many others, are discarded and stuck because of a government. May God bless your family for embracing her, sacrificing, and giving her a CHristian home.

Staci and Damon said...

I found your blog through Kristen's Facebook account, and I wanted to tell you congratulations! I didn't realize that you were in China right now. We'll be praying for your family. Enjoy your trip and your new beautiful little girl!!!

Liz said...

I just showed Scott the pictures and read some of your blog to him - we just laugh and laugh because we know exactly what you are taking about! However, I think that we became MUCH more immune to it all - because we were there for so long!! But, reading what you have said about China definitely brings back memories!
When Scott saw the pictures of Emme he said that he think that she looks like Shelby!
I'll be praying today - hope everything goes smooth.
OH... also when you go to a chinese restaurant order - tang su gee pee are (that's how you say it) - sweet and sour chicken
We lived on that!!! If you need any other dishes to eat - let me know!
Love you guys and can't wait to see soon!