Thursday, May 11, 2006

Martyr’s Park & the Xiang River

Today was a great day. She slept through the night from 7:30pm-5am. I did have to change her diaper at 3, but she went right back to sleep. What the heck?.. She had a bottle and played a little and was back down at 5:30, and then up for the day at 6:30. That coincided nicely with the breakfast hours, so down we went. They had green bean congee today, which she didn’t like, but I’d alternate 4-5 bites of plain with one of green bean. She’d get the most disgusted look on her face! But, to date, she has never spit anything out.
You’d think by my 3rd child I would have learned to bring a stroller when an activity interferes with nap time! Thanks for the reminder, Susan! Mae took a great nap in her stroller while we strolled through Martyr’s Park, just 10 minutes from our hotel. I took LOTS of great video here. People were singing, playing instruments, practicing Tai Chi, ballroom and sword dancing, and many other ‘local’ activities. People were more interested in us here and it was nice to have our little explanations in our lanyards. I dressed Mae for the day in a one-piece little romper. At breakfast Daphne advised me to dress her in long pants and shirt with a jacket or people would bother me. So I changed her, and the first little lady who came up to us told me she was too hot! I tell you, you just can’t please them all.
After the park we went to the Changsha side of the Xiang river, which Mae was named for, and which divides the province. Changsha is the commercial side and the other side is mountainous. It was another foggy day but you can see some mountains on the other side of the river if you look closely. After walking a bit, we joined Daphne and Ellen on a bench. There was a local family there with 2 boys, one about 5 and the other 2 or so. They were very cute and eating the HUGEST rice sticks…they looked alarmingly like the rawhide bones we get for Ole. They also had something that looked like Cheetos, although they were not cheesy. The father told his little son (who kept going over to Mae in her stroller and she would touch his face or swat him) to give Mae some of the Cheetos-like snack and both boys did. She actually put down her little cookie stick to gobble them up. I am going to look for some tomorrow. Then we came back to the hotel and she is taking an awesome nap. We are meeting in the playroom tonight at 5:30 for a pizza party (yes, they have Pizza Hut here!) and the Huaihua Orphanage Director is going to come to collect the extra donations from our families. They are going to buy a washing machine (theirs is 10 years old), a dryer and a bottle sterilizer. Probably more too…I am in charge of collecting the money and people are being very generous. About half of our group had the common sense to bring their donation to Adoption Day, but the rest of us weren’t that together. They are bringing another set of babies to Changsha today so we don’t have to wire the money to them. They have obviously taken such good care of these babies. A few of them are mildly sick (just a fever and some coughing) but in general, they are a healthy crew. Little Addie is having the toughest time, just missing her nanny terribly. Joanie and Don are exhausted but are doing so well. Sam was such a hard baby and I don’t know if I would have done half as well as they are doing…halfway around the world with no close friends or family to help. Our group is supportive, but it’s not the same. Addie is a lucky girl to have such devoted parents. I am sure she and Mae were in the same room-I discovered they had the same shoes on for their referral pics and they look at each other with such calmness, like they are thinking, “Oh yes, it’s you.” Susan has gone exploring but tonight I’ll upload her pics and see what goodies she snapped. I was so busy doing video that I didn’t take a lot of photos. I hope to create a nice video for Mae about Hunan province. They people here are very nice and friendly.
8pm…a late bedtime for Mae, but she did have a 3 hour afternoon nap. We had a great afternoon. She ate an entire order of steamed egg and then we played in the playroom. The Director, Asst. Director and a different staff person came to the playroom to receive the extra donations from TG950. I believe the total was about $1400. It was kind of weird to hand the money over, but Susan pointed out that they wanted us to know that they knew the amount…that they wouldn’t just pocket most of it. The director spoke and I video-ed it on my camera…which doesn’t upload on the Mac…sigh…but it was a great speech. There are about 40 babies in the orphanage and about 50 special needs children. The Asst. Director took a pic of every baby with her new mama and the Director was so pleasant and kind. I didn’t doubt it before, but now I KNOW how well cared for these babies were. Don pointed out that they had spoiled Addie, which got a laugh out of all of them. The babies were getting a bit over stimulated in the room so adjourned to the Mikan Suite for a pizza party. Mae had her 2nd BM of the day (woo hoo!), a very splashy bath, and a bottle. Let’s hope we make it past 4:45am tomorrow…

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