Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Memorial Hall and Local Neighborhoods

Today, we visited the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. It is a large beautiful blue pavilion that I remember seeing on our last trip, but we never visited it. I am so glad we was very interesting!

The hall was built as a memorial to a man named Sun Yat-Sen, who hails from Jude's hometown of Zhongshan. He was born to a Chinese farmer, later became a medical doctor and a Christian, and helped stage the uprising in 1911 which brought down the Imperial form of power in China and ushered in the Nationalist form of government, which reigned before the Communist party took over. He is called the Father of the Nation, and apparently, in each large city in China, there is a road named in his honor.

Anyway, it was an interesting building to visit and an even more interesting history lesson. Our guide was a history major, so she has lots of great things to tell us about! Now we totally have to rent the movie "The Last Emperor" when we get home!

Afterwards, we went to a noodle restaurant for another delicious meal. It is really helpful that our guide takes us places and just orders a bunch of food for us...she certainly has picked some good dishes!

This afternoon we headed back, once again, to the neighborhood behind our hotel. I wanted to be sure to take some pictures of it, although, I must say, I was very self-conscious about taking pictures there. For starters, we stick out like a sore thumb. Everyone watches us as we walk down the street and it made me feel a little like an intruder. No one was nasty to us at all...I didn't want to exacerbate any feeling that I was invading their privacy or anything by taking pictures left and I took a few and left it at that. Anyway, we've really enjoyed walking down there. We love getting a feel for "real" China, away from the tourist stops, and this has been a perfect spot for that. Kids come up to us just to say "Hi" and giggle and run away when we say "Hi!" back. It's hilarious. We're so glad our guide showed us the area when we arrived...we were thrilled to turn the corner and see this staring back at us.....

It's a rather busy place, especially around dinnertime. Farmers bring in fresh produce to sell, everyone is out and about visiting with their neighbors, buying food for dinner, running errands. There was a lot going on, but you could also tangibly feel the sense of community there. It's been one of our favorite parts of this trip.


Tomorrow, bright and early, we have our appointment at the U.S. Consulate, which in turn issues Jude's visa on Friday so that he can enter the U.S.A.!!!

Everyone is doing well. There's not too much else to report! Another adoptive dad here today said that he feels like every day is Groundhog Day....repeat, repeat, repeat. It's starting to feel like that, even though we've seen some great things. For a good week, we've felt like we're just killing time. However, as much as we are ready to come home, it is a little bittersweet. Who knows when/if we'll ever be back here, to Rylie and Jude's home country. I appreciate it so much, and while I desperately wish conditions here were different so that no child was ever abandoned, that is not the case. We are so grateful that we have had the opportunity to expand our family in this manner, and we are so thankful to this nation for allowing us to do so. It's been an amazing to experience this culture, so vastly different than ours, and it makes us appreciate the good ol' US of A all the more. As our guide said, "You have so much freedom in your country." How often we forget.

1 comment:

  1. Your feelings are exactly those I have for our daughters birth country. We have been given a gift we can never truly repay--only try our best to honor and learn. Going for a second time, I think, let's you appreciate it all the more. And, you never know--you may find yourself back in china some day!