Oh Happy Day in Guangzhou!

What a fun and full day we had here in the land of China!  

First, we left hotel this morning.... (by the way, we travel in a big bus everywhere because our group is so large.) So I kind of feel like we are in camp and our camp directors are Grace and Miko.  They give us the schedule and itinerary each day on the bus while we are driving to our destinations.  Grace and Miko are wonderful!  Great camp directors!  But this camp is different than the ones I grew up with! Instead of cabins, we are staying in a nice hotel. Instead of  camp food/ canteen, we eat in the hotel or eat out.  And our theme for camp: Adoption!  Instead of a program or camp talks... or camp is focused on one thing: the child or children we have adopted! So all of us "campers" have a bond... we are all new parents to our little ones and it is wonderful! Because if one of the kids in the group has a melt down, we can all relate... if one of us has a child that gets angry and won't go to sleep... we can relate.. so many similarities.  All these children love love to eat and oh, they are loving being loved.... and that is the most beautiful thing to watch.... to see these children with their families... and to think that just over a week ago: they were hungry... they were alone... and now.... EVERYTHING has changed: They have FAMILIES.  So this "camp" is truly the most powerful camp I've ever been a part of. It has God's heart and His Spirit flowing through it in the most tender yet powerful ways.  Is this camp easy and all sunshine? No, but it is..... the God kind of beauty where he sets the lonely into families!

So back to our day! 

  First stop today:  The medical clinic to see about the TB test we had for our children.  Yea! Everyone was clear!  So we headed down tree lined streets to the zoo.  I love riding around in the bus and looking out at everything..... all the shops and people and the gardens. This city has many tree lined streets... many gardens.  Each day it's like we are on a treasure hunt finding new places.

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The zoo...... favorites:  Definitely the sweet panda bear and then the giraffe!

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Love how the azaleas were in bloom all over the park as well as happy flower trees. Have no idea what  the flower trees were called, but they were beautiful. They kind of looked like azalea blossoms hanging from the branches. 

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Hanging out at the zoo with our new friends from Columbus, Ga ( The Hords have a blueberry farm and also chickens and turkeys). it's been fun getting to know them! 

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Love this pic of Pippa peeking out from behind her Boba.

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Pippa was not sure about all the animals but she enjoyed sleeping some of the time too.  

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Cute little Red Panda... I just wanted to pick it up and hold it.. .except the panda had some pretty big claws. 

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After we returned from the zoo, we had nap time... which meant.... really no nap time.  Pippa does not like to sleep, so we just played/ semi rested in the hotel room. Then we headed to Shaiman Island and that is what I have been looking forward to doing in Guangzhou!  It definitely was much more beautiful than I had imagined. It reminded me of Charleston/ Savannah. It was the French and English Concession back in the 1930's I think.  All the streets were tree lined and there were parks everywhere.  Lots of people were riding bikes around.  Oh, I could definitley spend much time in this area... so we are heading back tomorrow to finish some $3 shoe shopping! 

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While we were walking along the pathways, some Chinese soldiers marched by.  A reminder that we were still in China.

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Amid all the tall hotels and big ships, we saw an old fishing boat...... that is one thing we have missed here in China is seeing the "old" China.... maybe we can venture out this week and find some old China markets... we'll see!

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And on Shaiman Island,  the place to eat is "Lucy's" they serve sweet tea in mason jars and lots of American food.  Here we are with some of our group.  It's so special getting to know our new friends and sharing this sweet experience with them.  We all realize this is a once in a lifetime adventure with our girls.  To have this time with Pippa is so special.  I absolutely love being with her everyday.  She is such a happy spirit... and loves to laugh and play and she has definitely won over her daddy's heart too!  I am just amazed that we have only had her for one week! Wow, just realized today is the one week mark! But it seems like we have had her for much longer!  Time here in China doesn't seem like time in the US.   Seems like we have been in China for such a long time.  We have loved being here in Guangzhou... but we miss our dear Sam and Rosie.  Our days are winding down as we have Tuesday here : Shaiman Island and the Pearl River Cruise ( so excited about!) and then Wednesday: Consulate Appt.  Thursday: We pack up and head to Hong Kong at 4:30 pm.  Spend Thursday night in Hong Kong and fly out Friday morning to BIRMINGHAM! yea!  We arrive in Birmingham at 4:30pm on Friday!  

I still want to cherish these last days in China and make the most of our time.... Getting to know Pippa more and more each day is a such a JOY! And tonight as I put her to bed, she didn't have such anger and rage.  She actually let me sing to her without crying and she laid on the bed with her bottle and seemed quite content.  yea!  Hopefully the bedtime ritual will get better with each day...... thank you for your prayers over her.   I know they are being answered!

Happy night from Guangzhou!