Friday, October 30, 2009

A Day at Our Market, Jinchengjiang, Hechi

After a good night's rest, the adventure begins.......and we set out from Hechi City Hotel thro our favourite square and down to the river in the Jinchengjiang area where the market takes place each day is always so special to us to be able to wander each year & just experience our China.

This is "our special place"

And it was our special day "just for us"

It was great to be wandering along our road heading for the fun...........

and round the corner into our Market by the river

Ordinary people going about their daily business, selling food..... shoes

.......squeezing into quipaos

........just checking out the crazy foreigners :-)

animals everywhere....

...................didn't want to ask what these were?????There is a prize for anyone who can guess what was in this bag?
Seriously - add your guesses in the Comments below - first correct answer WILL receive a prize ;-)

Fun for the kids

Meeting with friends.....

Just strollin with friends......

An escapee running away with his wee split pants...... Eilidh looks on anxiously......

Caught by Mama...and all is well again :-)

You really don't want to know what this man is about to do?

Dog travels in style!

This is definitley an Outdoor Party!!!!!!!!!

It seems that the whole of life is encapsulated in this area - we have seen singing, dancing, playing, fighting, selling, talking.

We have never seen any other Westerners & are sure the locals recognise us each year we return. We no longer even notice the stares or the crowds that gather round every transaction we make. We have become excellent hagglers and have some excellent bargains for our girls!

Our Special Tree .... the end of our market & on the way back to our Hotel.

Then back up to the main sreet of shops where Matthew & the girls just HAD to try out the Hula Hoops

Rythmn & Style :-) What can we say?????

At the end of our long working days, the special treat for the girls was an escape to

where they bounced for ages &
caused much confusion when the Chinese children wanted to speak with them :-)
This whole area comes to life in the evening with people dancing, doing aerobics & children playing.
A wonderful place to unwind after some VERY busy days.

At the end of a long, but happy day, in pyjamas which have a "story" all of their own :-)
Next morning, off to work!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

China Trip 2009 - The adventure begins.....

Would love to know what my little one was thinking as we touched down in "her China" at last. She was soooo excited to be going to her other home...tho we will never know at what level she really understood it. I believe that she understood at a deeply subconscious level that this was "hers" and a very important part of her life.

Our trip this year has been amazing beyond words at so many different levels.

On a personal level it has further cemented our relationship with the land of our daughters birth in an even deeper way, it has deepened our relationships with special friends in China, it has made us feel we "belong" and most importantly these relationships which have taken years to develop have led us to important details about our daughters' early life in China.

In terms of our care for children in orphanages, our Foster care has expanded, and most importantly we now have steps in place to provide more care for our "special children"( more news later).

Our relationship with the GGEF girls has deepened and we now feel able to think more clearly about their needs and how we can help them as they grow and develop opportunities in life.

We have also been thinking about more ways to fundraise to meet the costs of new ventures( anyone with time energy & ideas please get in touch :-).

We will try to capture & share here over the next few weeks some of our photos & stories of our Trip.

This was a Budget Trip - it is so important for us to travel to China but well above our ability to pay - so we were staying in Matthew's apartment instead of our usual hotel, making us real Nanningers ( much to his amusement:-), carrying our very substantial no of suitcases around on public transport instead of our usual personal van & driver.
So arriving in Nanning after 2 long weary days of travel from Scotland, we had one hour to reorganise all the luggage, gifts, donations etc for our visit to Hechi, Desheng, Yizhou....and we were off on a 5hour bus journey. As we all poured out of out taxis with all this luggage, an amazing lady just appeared with an old rickety wheelbarrow & lifted our luggage over to the bus, refusing help from the men!

We settled down to our journey, meeting some new friends along the way....
The beautiful Hechi mountains as we approached.......

On arrival to Hechi City, another amazing form of transport appeared! I really don't know who was most amused - the driver as he watched us pour out of the bus with all our children & all our luggage, or us, as we watched our suitcases loaded onto this bike,

and disappearing into the sunset with this driver.......

Iain & Matthew jumped on an old rickshaw in hot pursuit, jumping off along the way to pick up an escaped suitcase.........

...while we laughed in the back of our taxi, suddenly realising that we didn't know where we were going and that our men & luggage had disppeared without us into the sunset!!!!!!

We were very happy ( and a bit relieved) a few moments later to turn the corner to our old favourite, Hechi City hotel, where we feel quite at home. This is the China we love!!!!!!!

Our children are very good & patient, coping so well with the craziness of the trip, but it had been a long journey...and we were all ready for bed & looking forward to the adventures beginning the next day........