There are several events from past trips that I thought were funny. I fell on the area that is pavers in the courtyard in Shanghai children's home. Not so bad as I wasn't hurt, but my computer went flying in the air and landed 15 feet in front of me. It was the best advertisement for a padded computer sleeve in history because my computer was fine. Later that same trip, Karen another physical therapist fell and landed flat on her face too. She tripped over a door jamb. Note to all of you, jet lag makes you uncoordinated and punchy. There was also the time I ate something I was allergic to and my eye swelled shut. Not fun.
This trip had its share of Bloopers. the best Shanghai blooper was when we lost Chelsea on the train. She got in the subway and the doors closed in front of Gongzhan and I. there were loads of Hand signals about where to get off and we caught the next train.
JiangXi province is always a challenge. First and foremost the travel is always hard. There also seems to be the new idea that the bathroom walls should be glass. Now not so bad when you are in a room by yourself but not fun in a room with a friend. After one hot long day in JiangXi we finally arrived at the hotel to get to our room to discover that all the bathroom walls were glass. (BTW, there was a glass shower in Shanghai as well so its not just JiangXi,) Darla kind of sunk onto the bed to find it was a board covered with padding. We all laughed over this. I have a wifi hub that converts the cable internet to wifi in the room. Erin and Darla spent time that night sitting on the floor outside the room to talk to their families. I don't know why they did not come in. There would have been screaming if I came out and tripped over one of them. We also ate very unusual things in JiangXi. province. We were served all variety of food in JiangXi. Changsha too. Duck tongues, jelly fish and fried frogs. We also had the Chinese equivalent of Turducken. Some exotic food are good, some are not to our liking but it is always a challenge to not be disrespectful to food your host offers you.
Getting from JiangXi to Hunan proved to be a challenge this year. We had reservations on the bullet train which was late by over three hours. We ended up pushing our way onto a local train and sitting in the dining car as we did not have tickets. That was after trecking up three flights of steps to get on the platform. No joke. That was my epic meltdown. Now I can climb three flights of steps but I can't do it carrying my international suitcase and eighty four page profile sheets my computer and a carry on. No escalator or elevator. I cried.
Once we made it to ChangSha we were greeted by a buffet with Snake as an entree. Now ChangSha is HOT. JiangXi was hot and humid but ChangSha was hot and dry. In ChangSha we were close to the orphanage. We could walk form our hotel every day. It was a little hazardous getting there. there was a big intersection where three roads converged. We always seemed to be in the middle of it when the light changed. Leaving us scurrying off the road. Once walking back from the orphanage we learned that motor bikes ride on the sidewalk. I came nose to nose with one. I was looking into the drivers eyes and he was no more than eight inches from me. What did he do? Beeped his horn. Chelsea and Erin were practically rolling on the floor.
Last but not least, the most unexpected occurrences are with the wonderful people we meet, the connections we make. Friends we get to see year after year. Staff, facilitators, orphanage directors, provincial officials. We are welcomed with open arms. We can survive glass bathrooms, funny food and difficult travel. We go with a great purpose and it is all worth it when we see one of our Superkids find their forever family and come home.
I am leaving you with some travel and food pics
the courtyard in Shanghai
traveling in mountainous JiangXi
Lunch in the cafeteria in Shanghai
. a delicious surprise in the bun