Friday, April 17, 2009

Almost done in Chongqing

We've been here in Chongqing now for 6 days, and we'll leave tomorrow morning for Guangzhou, where we will complete the process with the U.S. Consulate so we can come home. In the meantime, we spent the last two days taking tours to spots in Chongqing as well as just chilling out with Kate and Sydney. On Thursday, we went to the old part of Chongqing, where there is a street (more of a large sidewalk, really) lined with shops. We bought a few things to give Kate in years to come, and enjoyed the scenery. There are photos below.

First, the entrance to the market street:

Amy and Sydney enjoying the atmosphere:

Mmmmm, peppers.....

We saw this in Nanchang four years ago as well. This is a candy made with hot, melted syrup of some kind that is painted onto a smooth cutting board in various shapes and designs. A stick is embedded in it, and when it cools, the whole thing can be picked up and eaten like a lollipop, albeit a very elaborate one:

Because Chongqing is built on a river and is very hilly, the mode of transportation used in most other parts of China (the bicycle) is not as popular here. Here, people mostly move on foot, and if you have a need to transport something bulky or heavy, you hire one of these stick-men to load it in their baskets and move it for you. We saw four of these guys carrying a load of reinforcing steel for concrete through a square near our hotel, so they can and will move just about anything:

Here are Sydney and one of the other girls in our group. They became fast friends right away.

Back at the hotel, we sat in the lounge area for a while just to get out of our room. Kate does not like to sit up much, but she can be convinced for short periods of time.

On Friday, we got back on the bus and went to the square below. At one end was the Three Gorges Dam Museum (see how the front of the building is designed to look like a dam with water in front?).

At the other end of the square is the Hall of the People. The building was built in the 50's, but was designed to replicate ancient Chinese architecture. The people of Chongqing are quite proud that it has won awards and is regarded as an architectural masterpiece. It is the "symbol" of Chongqing, and appears on quite a few souvenirs, etc.

My three favorite girls in the whole world....

There were a number of school groups here when we got here, and Sydney was busting at the seams to go join in the games they were playing in their little circles. She had no idea what they were doing, but she sure had fun!

Here is our group posing with a group of school children who wanted to have us in their picture (and vice versa). They were quite excited to practice their English on us and show us all their antics.

Here's another little nugget being carried in a traditional Chinese baby carrier. I like the Snuggli better...

Here's a model of the Three Gorges Dam as it will look when completed in 2012. I hadn't realized it was not done yet, but the museum we saw is an ongoing attempt to preserve the history and heritage of thousands of years that will be submerged under a massive lake once the project is done.

And here is a very tired Kate, taking her afternoon nap after we got back from the tour.

Meanwhile, Sydney and her buddy, "Miss Marti" watched Mary Poppins upstairs in a lounge area.

And finally, and attempt to let Kate walk around the room.

Well, that's about all we've done since our last post. Today (Saturday) is a free day that we will spend packing and getting ready to leave for Guangzhou. I will be taking it easy, because I have not been feeling well for the last day or two. My colitis is flaring, and that always makes things harder for everyone, so it is a blessing to have a down day to get ready for tomorrow. Amy is doing some home-schooling with Sydney while Kate takes a morning nap. I may convince Amy to post later today, as I know many of you will be wanting a "Mommy's view" of things.

Until then, we appreciate your prayers for health and safe travel.


RRaley said...

The photos are wonderful and your review of activities just great. Thanks so much for taking the time to off load your experiences in this way.

Colored With Memories said...

so sorry to hear that you are not feeling your best. being sick at home is not fun, much less many time zones away. we'll add that to our prayers as lily continues to pray for sydney.

great pictures. i especially love the one of sydney joining in with the school kids. that girl is such a hoot!

and kate is so cute napping...what is that baby bellie thing wrapped around her?

thanks for letting us in on all the little details of your trip!

Rollin said...

Kerry, it's just a blanket with velcro to keep it on her belly. I don't remember when or where we picked it up, but the orphanage said something about her liking a blanket around her tummy, so it keeps her warm and helps her sleep.