Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Free Day in Hefei

There was nothing adoption related we need to do today, so we had a free day.  We aren’t sleeping well still – we’ll sleep for a couple of hours and be up again.  Kai is sleeping great, though! 

The Turpin laundromat – hand washing gives me more appreciation for my washer and dryer!


We started with an early breakfast and headed out to explore this great park we can see from our hotel room.

We learned a lot about the Three Kingdoms period and the great battle for Hefei – 1000 men holding off 200,000.  Jason is fascinated by the rich history of China!

The park has a little of everything in it – beautiful buildings, museum, paintball, petting zoo, amusement park, lake, you name it.


I love whenever I see English!  I have thought so much about not being able to speak the language.  Do us, it’s no big deal.  We have a guide for anything important.  The little stuff people are happy to help us.  I keep thinking of those in the US who don’t speak English and I don’t think we go far enough to help them – well, as much as we have been helped here.  It’s just brought to my attention how privileged my life has been.


This is a beautifully maintained and loved park.  We were out early and there were workers everywhere sweeping up leaves and doing maintenance.  There were also several groups of people, mainly women doing dances.  From a distance, I expected tai chi, but no, dancing.  One group was learning to ballroom dance.  Another was doing what I would consider traditional dancing, but with an international twist.  For example, there was an Indian song these Chinese ladies were dancing to.  We did see one man doing tai chi. As the day progressed, more people came to the park.  Some little children with their mothers or grandparents, and finally people of all ages.


We spoke with so many people – and no, we still have NO idea what they were saying :), but people like to talk to us!  Older people like to talk to us.  The younger generation just stares into their phones – people are the same everywhere.

We found a small playground for little children.  Kai knew exactly what to do when he felt the playground equipment, that’s good.  That speaks well of his experiences.  Look how long his legs look on that slide!  Isn’t that a fun slide?


It really was beautiful!!


The view of our hotel from the park.


We found a really cool museum inside the park.   After some conversation, we realized we had to pay, ah, OK.  My goodness!  What an amazing museum!  I can only guess (since I’ve never been) that it was like Disney – everything was so high tech!  Animations, virtual reality – amazing!!  Of course, it was all in Mandarin, but the visual display was breathtaking!  So Kai could understand everything that was said and we could see everything, so together we got the full experience.

Pictures against a green background and you are there, in the animation!


Virtual reality game


This is a ten minute “ride” that flew you through a reenactment of the huge battle.  We were going up and down and left and right and there was sound and wind and the movie, and after a few minutes I had to take off my harness and jump to the ground.  Me and my crazy tummy!  (Breathe, breathe, do not throw up all over the amazing Chinese museum!)   Kai and Jason seemed to really enjoy it though.


Another cool tech thing  - so instead of standing behind a cut out and having your picture taken, you stand in front and the computer puts your face in the picture.


This was cool – an animation of the ancient city and then your image is thrown on top.


It’s such a beautiful park – we loved it!  But we were cold!


We hiked over to McDonald’s nearish the park – because they sell Macaroons!! – to warm up (to get back feeling into my hands  :)   )

Why, yes, that is a porcelain plate at McDonald’s.    We got Kai a happy meal.  Joy would have been so sad without any French fries :)


We rested in our hotel for a bit, watching (listening) to TV, playing with toys. 

We visited a couple of department stores.  We have been on the lookout for a fan.  It’s Winter, so the hotel has turned on the heat.  We can push the down button on the thermostat all day long, but only the heat works.  So we are sweltering – another reason we aren’t sleeping well.  They must have thought we were crazy, but they opened the windows for us to let some air in.  While it helps a little, it lets in lots of smells too – mostly cigarette smoke.  Oh well.  If being warm and having to diffuse some oils to clear the air is all we have to complain about, we are doing well!!

We were able to get some more treats to bring home for the kids.  That was fun!

We went swimming in the afternoon.  We were quite a sight!  There are many rules and they were very slowly learned them through google translator and pantomime. 

The pool itself was 5 feet deep everywhere, so we settled on staying in the Jacuzzi.  The funniest thing to me was Kai, being unable to see where we were and us, unable to explain it well to him, Kai thought we were all getting into the bathtub and tried to take off his swimming trunks.  :)  He thought we were crazy!  Hello people – you don’t wear your clothes in the bathtub!  Through Google translate, Jason asked someone working there to explain to Kai that he had to wear his suit.  Haha!    He hasn’t spoken a lot – because he knows we don’t understand.  He’ll repeat things.  We have learned the Mandarin word for “say.”  But when we got into that Jacuzzi he was sure trying to tell me something!  :)   After that, he settled down.  He had fun splashing and kicking and going back and forth between us.  He is such a sweet boy!

(it’s a rule – you have to wear swimming caps)


After all of that walking to and around the park and the stores, I think we wore him out.  At dinner, he could barely keep his head off the table.  :) 

Tomorrow we will visit his Orphanage and get his passport!!


Debra Ball said...

Hefei is prettier than I remember but then we were so sick during that time that we stayed in the hotel except one day we went to the zoo. Nathan just being a regular kid looking at the animals. It seems like everything is working out well. Looks like they prepared him. He will probably be upset at the orphanage tomorrow. Maybe not, he is older and understands more.

Debra Ball said...

Just occured to me. Kai will need a Christmas present. Any ideas? Mama