Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hutong tour

This morning we went on a hutong tour. There is a company that will take you in rickshaws into the hutongs to show you how people live there, and tell you how it was in ancient times. A hutong is an alley formed by a compound with houses around a courtyard. The gray-tiled houses all look alike. It was very interesting and the ride was relaxing, except for when we had to cross busy streets and play "chicken" with cars and buses. We got to see a kindergarten in the hutong. Twenty percent of the children board there throughout the week. The kids were so cute, waving at us and saying "Hello!" We went into a family's home, where the gentlemen served us tea and snacks. He had some candied rose petals there that were very good. Jamie loved them and ate a bunch. The man there also had many birds, some of which were talking. There were a lot of street vendors and Jamie bought some kind of violin type thing, I forget what it was called. It is pretty fragile looking and will likely not survive the trip home, but it was really neat.

In the afternoon we went to the Pearl Market again, and to the Toy Market next to it. The Toy Market wasn't quite as exciting as I had hoped, but it was still fun. We did a bit more shopping at the Pearl Market, then went back to the hotel.

There we were given Rachel's passport and visa. She is ready to go home now! For supper we all gathered in the hotel restaurant and had a Peking Duck dinner. There were several different dishes, all very good. The chef carved the roast duck into slices in front of us. Of course the head and bill were still attached.

Tonight was our last night together as a group. Tomorrow some will be leaving for home, though many will be travelling with us the next day. I have to say that I can't imagine a nicer group of people with whom to share this experience. We enjoyed meeting everyone so much, and I truly feel that they are all wonderful parents. Their children are very fortunate to have them. I hope that we will be able to keep in contact, and share how our kids are progressing over the years to come.


angela said...

The people of china seems so inviting and a happy people. I can't imagine someone just inviting you into there house. I suppose as christians we should be like that. What a positive experience this has been for you. I was reading on some of the other families blogs and one mentioned that there were two childrens that were having problems with there medicals. They made it sound like it was something developmental. Maybe they got it wrong. We'll keep them in prayer that all the babies and families will be going home Thurs. or Fri. happy, healthy and safe. Thanks Angela for the wonderful blogs of your journey it has been so interesting. Thanks for the wonderful and interesting? pictures and captions Jamie. You have a real gift. Oh yeah, I was talking to a friend (whose name is also Angela)who is a TA at the school and knows Harrison. She asked how things were going with you guys and said his eyes just lite up and talked only of Rachel. He didn't even bring you guys up.(I'm sure he misses you - ha) She said you could see the love he has for a sister he doesn't even know yet. She said it was beautiful.

Peggy & Jeff Malloy said...

Hi guys,
How technology has changed our lives! Just a few years ago I would have had to hear about your trip upon your return or through second hand info from your family. It's been wonderful getting to know you both better and now Rachel.

This journal will also be a wonderful keepsake for Rachel and as I said, you could publish it (Angela Palmer sounds like an author's name but now I understand that Jamie would have to be given credit for his pics and liners - his name is not so "authory". LOL :0)

Can't wait to see you all safe at home. Good luck on the flight home and I'll pray that it goes by fast!

God bless you both and your little miracle,
Peggy, Jeff & Maggie