Sunday, June 16, 2013

Home At Last!

   Oh. Wow. I never could blog in China, so I have A LOT of catching up to do.
   Day One, May 31st: We were NOT prepared to go! We got our travel approval two hours before we left. I was up until eleven or so the night before we left, trying to make sure I was completely ready. We got up a little before two in  the morning and stuck everything in the car to take off. I wasn't tired then, because I was so excited! Preston and Mama slept the whole way to Roanoke, though. Our first flight was the best. It was from Roanoke to Detroit. It was still early and everything was pink and misty. It was also my first time flying. The plane from Detroit to Beijing was much bigger, but we had a lot less room. Everybody was packed in like sardines. We had a joke going, whenever we passed the First Class, or Sky Priority or whatever they call it, one of us would say "Oh, look at all the happy rich people! Doesn't it just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?". Ha. After thirteen hours of nonstop movies and junk food, I wasn't feeling so great. The plane was too dark and crowded. As soon as the plane touched the ground, I was in the lavatory throwing up. Yep, that was my first impression of China. Finally it was time for our last flight, Beijing to Hangzhou. We met our guide, Mr. Wan. He reminded us of my grandpa, Pop, so whenever we talked about him in our hotel room we called him Pop. Daddy also nicknamed him George. I don't know why. I guess he just looked like a George to Daddy. Mr. Wan's (or Pop's, or George's, or whatever you want to call him) English was very good. He was really smart. He knew all about plants, and history (Chinese and American). We got to our hotel and crashed, but we woke up before five. The time in China is exact opposite from here, so while it was 5 am there, it was 5 pm here.

   Day Two: On our itinerary this was marked as "rest". That's exactly what we did! We woke up and ate, went back to our room, and crashed. We slept through lunch and ate supper at the hotel. Of course, we hardly slept that night.

   Day Three: We went to West Lake part of the day, slept the rest.

   Day Four: Free day. We walked around some. As in we walked around the West Lake. West Lake is considered to be the best natural beauty in China. It covers three square miles. We rented a little tiny motor boat and went out on the lake.

    Day Five: Gotcha Day! Henry was supposed to meet us in our hotel lobby at 11, but because of the long drive from his orphanage (about five hours) it ended up being more like 1. He walked in with his vice director of the orphanage and two other people (I don't really know who they were). He took one look at us and burst into tears. The vice director was very kind. You could see how much she loves the kids. He hardly ate at all the first two days, and was very quiet.

   Day Six: This day started out like the day before, with Henry mostly crying. After lunch we finally got a translator on the iPad to work. I've heard Google Translate is mostly unreliable, but I guess it made sense to him because he has been smiling ever since!
  Day Seven: From then on it was good. Henry was all smiles...

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