Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guangzhou - Sunday, 1/23

Local people burning incense for the buddhas.

Jenna and I tried tossing a coin into some "lucky well." I didn't make it...

Jenna did!

A woman praying to buddha inside the Seven Banyon Temple.

This was the monk that stopped to give the children candy and tangerines.

Tons of offerings were being made to the buddhas...pop, candy, fruit, flowers, peanut oil. It reminded us a lot of the worship we saw in Thailand.

These were the 3 HUGE buddhas where families can have their babies blessed, and where the monks came to worship.

This monk was calling the others to worship by banging on this drum. They used to use a huge gong, but since the temple grounds are now surrounded by residences, the gong was too loud, so now they use a quieter drum.

Cordelia is helping Jenna peel her tangerine.

Charlie is showing off his Star Wars t-shirt. He heard that his buddy, Luke, likes SW, too. Luke's new baby sister is next to Charlie.

Charlie and I were chatting about some of the differences between buddha and Jesus.

Here we are inside the temple grounds. It was very pretty inside, and of course, highly decorated with lanterns, flowers, and tangerine trees for the Chinese New Year.

Lots of decorations everywhere!

Charlie got a ride from Luke around the temple grounds.

This man was painting the inside of the tiny bottles. We bought one with pandas on it for Jenna, and while we waited, he painted her name on the inside.

Jenna uses chopsticks well. Here she is eating boiled peanuts. Note the flower clip in her hair. I won the battle today!! It looked so sweet in her hair, don't you think?

Lunch with other Faith families on Shamian Island. We had such a fun lunch!

Charlie used his chopsticks the whole time, too! (and some fingers) :)

Jenna with our friend's 13 year old daughter. I wish I knew how to spell her name correctly.
They are staying at a different hotel and we miss chatting with them each day like we did in Chongqing.
Jamie, Charlie, and Jenna watching the fish at the White Swan Hotel.

Yes! A full night sleep for us all without waking up at 3AM, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Char was awake when I got up at 7AM, and quietly playing his Leapster “so he didn’t wake Jenna.” I wonder if it will take us a full week to get rid of jet lag once we return home?
Breakfast was great, and like normal, Jenna ate ½ the buffet. Charlie ate the other half. He hasn’t had a huge appetite since we arrived, but today marked a turning point!

After breakfast, Cordelia and the other families picked us up to tour GZ. We visited the Seven Banyon Temple first. It was very pretty and being heavily cleaned and decorated for the Chinese New Year which starts next week. We saw monks walking around, and one of them stopped to give the children candy and tangerines. Then a monk started walking around, beating on a drum. It was a call to the other monks to come and worship in front of these 3 HUGE Buddha statues. We families had a chance to have our children and families blessed by these monks. We knew we weren’t going to participate, and when the other families found out that part of it was bowing down and praying to the Buddha statues, they quickly changed their minds, too.

Next stop was a government store to buy souvenirs. We bought a small bottle that was hand-painted on the inside. We watched the artist at work and marveled at his skill and steady hand.

We were supposed to visit a museum next, but it was 12:30 and we were hungry. So our absolutely wonderful guide, Cordelia, took us to a restaurant on the island, got us a private room, and ordered our food. It was just delicious! We all used chopsticks, even Charlie! We had a great time chatting with the other families…they are so much fun!

Next, more shopping on the island. We went to Jordan’s store. He is hilarious, Karin! He talked and talked and talked and is so very vibrant. He is also a Christian and was happy to see that we were, too. He even had a book of Bible stories, in Chinese and English, that came with a CD that we bought for Jenna. She can’t read Chinese, but it will be a lovely keepsake for her, and she can at least listen to the stories at home. We also bought a new backpack as the straps on mine were almost shredded. Jamie drove a hard bargain and got it for a good price! We got a fun gift for Amarin, we already had something for Jacob (I’m writing this because I know they’ll be reading the blog), a gift for Laura, and a couple other things.

Exhausted from such shopping, we headed back to the hotel for a rest. As Charlie and Jenna started their rest time…it’s Jenna who’s leaning over poking at her brother and tugging on his stuffed animal! She thinks it’s funny when I correct her. Hmm…I wonder how this will work at home when they’re sharing a bedroom?

Jenna is doing beautifully.
No more tears or screaming, and she is just full of smiles, hugs, and kisses. Her smile captivates everyone…our guide, the cleaning ladies, strangers on the street. They all say how happy and sweet she is, and they’re right! She continues to sing loudly, especially in the hallway at the White Swan where it echoes. She loves to run down the hallway at our hotel with Charlie and just giggles. We laugh that she runs like a girl…not dynamo speed like her brothers! She sleeps great through the night, and has not wet the bed once. I’m a little concerned about her choice of toys…she seems to gravitate toward cars and planes at the toy stores, and often uses her stuffed puppy to whack Charlie. She does play with her little Mulan doll, but often pops her head off. Oh, my. Her brothers may have another little rough and tumble playmate after all!

Tomorrow, we head back to the medical office to have her TB test checked. Her arm looks just fine…no raised bump. Then I think we’re off to do some more sightseeing and shopping.
So, goodnight once more from Guangzhou!

*Some of you have asked about the kids back home. I think they won’t want to come home! The boys are staying with friends from church who also homeschool and have 3 little ones. So, they are keeping up on their studies, and did a really cool science experiment with the dad which involved dissecting owl regurgitation to see what he ate. Ewwww! But the boys loved it! They’re also making a home movie (this family does awesome movies based on books, Bible stories, etc.) as the dad is really good at videography. They’ve been playing in the snow, building with knex, having sword fights, etc. As for Laura, she’s being spoiled by grandma and papa. They are spending a few days at their house, and then return to ours so Laura can still go to school a few days each week. Laura loves playing by the fireplace in their livingroom, and I’m sure there’s lots of snuggle time goin’ on! We’re so blessed to have friends and family taking such good care of our kids at home. We don’t have to worry for a minute!


Holly said...

That is AWESOME about your children back home!! And we really enjoyed Jordan's shop too and this last trip we bought most of our stuff at Jordan's.
Do tell, is Miss Jenna going to get some squeaky shoes??!!
Seeing your photos really makes me long to go back and that's crazy as i was just there a few months ago and we are supposed to be "done"! ha ha
I also got to experience the lucky well to throw coins into, the statues and other worship stuff and had very mixed feelings about it.
I must admit that China has found its way into my heart...forever :)
Love to you and your treasures!

Amy Murphy said...

A note on the jet-lag. As I recall, it was much more difficult coming home than it was going there. :(
Really enjoying the pictures!

Megan said...

It is wonderful to see how well things are going! Thanks for the pics, I love to see them all. Jenna and Charlie sound like the are hitting it off so well. I loved the bath tub photos from a previous post! And I am glad to hear the others are doing well at home! Hugs to you all~

Debbie Sauer said...

Love the flower in her hair! I hope she realizes how pretty she looks. Blessings.