Friday, July 4, 2014

The Great Wall Of China and Hutong Tour

Today was another amazing day and Halainah once again used the term, "This is the best day ever" about 100 times.  She also said "I have the best life" a few times as well.  She is such a character and her enormous love of life just warms my heart.  

We visited The Great Wall Of China today.  It is so hot and humid here that it's not even worth taking a shower in the morning because once you walk outside you are soaking wet.  The Great Wall was difficult to climb in this heat but we did the best we could.  When we toured The Great Wall on our adoption trip to Ava we purchased two locks and had our girl's names engraved on them with their birth dates.  We placed the locks in a place we would never forget.  Halainah was so excited to go hunt for her lock.  Well, it looks like they removed all of the locks from the wall and now there are a few very recent locks, which we can tell by the dates on them.  It was a huge bummer but Halainah didn't seem to mind she was just happy to be standing on the wall.  

After the Great Wall tour we went to a jade factory.  We have been to this factory before and really had no desire to go back.  But we want Halainah to experience everything we did when we adopted her and Ava.  We stopped and ate lunch at the factory as well.  The food in China is excellent.  I don't know how some families say it is horrible but I think the food is fantastic and Halainah is loving it as well.  

After the Jade factory we went on a tour of the Hutongs. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.   Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods.  We rode in a rickshaw which is a little 3 wheeled carriage that is pulled by a man on a bicycle.  Since the ally ways are so narrow in the Hutongs the rickshaw is the best means of travel.  Halainah thought the rickshaw ride was so cool.  We were able to visit a family who invited us into their home.  They were considered wealthy as their home was 7 rooms.  Now to put that into perspective.  3 of their rooms are equal to a small living room in the US.  And their kitchen is the size of a standard size US bathroom.  Normally they do not have their own bathrooms.  However, this home did which is a huge luxury since the other homes in the Hutong have to share a public restroom.  Everyone was very kind to us and it was a pleasure to visit with them.  Halainah loved the fact that they had a giant cricket as a pet which they kept in a cage.  Since she loves bugs I am surprised she didn't ask us if she could have one for a pet.

After the Hutong tour, we went to see an amazing acrobat show.  It was so neat and something I have never seen before.  I have been to Beijing 2 times previously and not once did one of our guides recommend the acrobat show.  Halainah was smiling from ear to ear, jumping out of her seat and clapping.  It really was amazing to see such talent and strength that the performers had.  Our guide Lily is amazing and we are so thankful that we have her.  Lily and Halainah are from the same province.  And not only that but from the same town.  Lily has been sharing special stories about Shangrao in Jiangxi Province with Halainah.  I think the Lord really had his hands in that connection.  Out of all the guides in China, we get one that shares an amazing bond with our daughter.  Lily has grown very fond of Halainah.  She looks out for her and holds her hand really tight while we are out and about.

Please continue to pray for us.  We are really struggling with Jet lag.  Normally we could acclimate very easily.  But we are having a very hard time.  All 3 of us are struggling.  Our day started at 4:30 AM with all of us up.  We are extremely dizzy from the jet lag which makes it very hard to tour.  And we are very tired.  Tony and Halainah are sleeping now and I can't wait to jump into bed either.

Tomorrow we visit Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City.  We are another day closer to meeting our son...we can't wait!!

Enjoy some of the pics from today.


Aunt Ann said...

It is pure joy to have a window into your journey !!! Thanks for sharing!!!

opa said...

Looks like you guys are really enjoying this trip especially since Halainah is there with you !Nice pics. Glad you are all safe. Love OPA

Cami Jamison said...

Glad you had such a good time. Can't wait.