Monday, January 5, 2009

Van's Write Up for January 2nd

We arrived at Guangzhou airport. Pam, Robert and the rest of us walk to pick up our baggage. We meet Rebecca immediately, who is a very jovial person. We also run into Jason, Lori, and their new child, Jacob. Wow, the same people that met 3 weeks ago are together again. I was really feeling good at this point. The airport was air-conditioned. We had to go up a level while waiting for Stefanie and Andrea to arrive. We let the kids play and talk a bit. We had all met just about 1 month before in Fredericksburg, VA and now we're here together in China. Andrea, Cole and the well-known and respected Stefanie Leitz arrive. Stefanie and I know about each other, and saying hello is just formalities at this point. We walk outside the small bus. We get on and then the driver starts loading us up. Well, we must have set off something because some form of Chinese security, armed with video camera, starts asking questions and delays us about 3-5 minutes. It turned out, all of the baggage brought about some curiosity and needed investigation. On the drive to the White Swan, I'm talking with the group and we're all the happiest parents right now. I really like this group a great deal, very kind and very genuine. We make it to the White Swan, just as glorious as the last time we were here in November 2005. We meet in the lobby and are handed our keys. We make it upstairs, and I'm thankful that I've made it to the "safe zone". I'm with a group, and we're mostly on the same floor in the hotel. I start unpacking the clothes, setting the vault for our money, putting the heavy clothing away into the closet, and getting the paperwork in one location. Quickly, we end up all walking to Lucy's, a fifties style diner just about 200 feet from the White Swan. We go to Lucy's in a private room. It turns out it's the Fredericksburg group, less Jason. We all order some good old American food. Garrett has fried chicken planks, and I have a large cheeseburger. We do a ton of talking. Garrett starts to really like the other children. After eating, we walk to a nearby restaurant to survey some of the unusual food to eat. A major assortment of fish, but then it gets fun: silkworms, snakes, water beetles, some type of big worm, and on and on. I stop at the 7-Eleven here and grab the essential big water bottle. I don't want it to be too big where it will be less fresh. I also grab some snacks and some drinks for Garrett and me. We go up and settle down some. He falls asleep quickly. Tomorrow, we meet the rest of the groups. I am not very worried anymore except about having something unexpected to do with/on the paperwork. I'm with good people and Garrett has some children to play with which will make this much easier.

1 comment:

KHM said...

I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job you are doing with this blog. We just got back from IM and this captures it all so very well. Good job!