Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rough Day

I thought things were getting easier for a minute and then they just got 1000 times harder.  Everything is great with the baby, except an itchy rash but we could use your fasting, prayers, good thoughts or positive energy on our (mostly my) behalf.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.  Thanks for all the postive comments on the blog and facebook!  Love you all and will see you soon,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Surviving China

When I last wrote, we had been up all night with Daisy and were just starting a new day.  It was a much better day than I had planned on.  Somehow we all had enough energy.

Paul met us in the lobby at 9:30 and we ran down the street to a bakery for some baked goods.  We have decided against the breakfast buffet after our first experience.  Then we caught a cab (one cab for 5 people plus the driver = Paul in front and the rest of us, 3 adults 2 children in back!  Seat belt?  Car seat?  Never heard of them!) to the Minority Village.  The Minority Village kind of reminds me of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.  In Yunnan province there are like 25 different Chinese minorities (bet you thought Chinese was the only race in China huh?  Not so, Han Chinese is the majority race and then there are a bunch of minorities.)  This tourist spot has a bunch of little "villages" for many of the different races.  Like the Mongol village was made to look like Mongolia with Yurts you could go in and people dressed in traditional Mongolian clothing and shops with handiwork and food from there as well.  We rented little golf cart thing so we wouldn't have to walk too much and we could see more in a shorter time.  It was about $35 usd for 2 hours and came with a driver.  We were able to see about 7 villages, some had performers dancing and singing and other entertainment.  I was able to buy Daisy a really cute outfit for when she is bigger from the Bai village and a little purse too.  Zack, Steve and Paul rode a fun zip line in the Tibet village (apparently the zip line was invented in Tibet.  Who knew?)  It was fun to try to guess which minority Daisy comes from as Paul was quite certain she is not Han.

The entrance gate

We walked down this "street" of shops to get to the ticket booth and rent our golf cart.

It was worth every penny, the minority village was huge!

Wa Village

A performer stops in the middle of the song (the others kept going) to come visit Daisy.

This was the only performance we saw all day, we got lucky!

The people were really pretty!

We got to practice our drumming on this big piece of wood.

Mongol Village

Zack loves weapons.

Outside of the Mongolian hut.  It seems small.

But the inside seems huge!

Some Mongolian performers practicing their dance.

Naxi Village

Entrance to the Naxi village home.

The home had a large open square in the middle with rooms all around it.

A bedroom in a Naxi home.

Traditional Naxi clothing.

Bai Village

Some Bai performers.  The Bai people are beautiful!

We liked the sound of this instrument but I don't know what it was called.

The was a butterfly preserve in this village but it must have been the wrong time of year because there weren't any butterfly's around.  This alphabet poster was made of pictures of different close-ups of patterns in butterfly wings.

Dai Village

This is a replica of a real structure in a Dai city.

Daisy woke up in time to sit on the Dragon boat.

Zack had fun running around the minority village.  We all did!  It was a welcome change and a very touristy thing to do, which we love.

Steve with a pretty Dai girl.  She is holding a Hulusi gourd pipe.  My brother Jeff was the recipient of such a pipe from my mom upon our return.  We hope he learns to play it soon!

Tibetan Village

Tibetan Villagers

Prayer flags.  Note the hat on the villager, it's made of metal.

Getting ready to ride the zip-line.

Steve was too tall for the zip-line but found out too late and almost lost his head on re-entry!  No wonder they told him to lean waaaaay back!

Paul decided to take a zip too.

Zack loved his adventure.

Some of Daisy's fans.

All the animals from the Chinese Zodiac.

Zack is a sheep.  Sheep are:  Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer and weak-willed.

Steve is pig.  Ha!  Pigs areHonest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be na├»ve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic.

Daisy and I are both Tigers.  Tigers are: Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, obstinate, selfish, aggressive independent,self-controlled and moody. 

Zack getting eaten by a tiger!

This game was outside the Naxi village.  You had to try and get bean bags through the holes. 

Palm trees next to pine trees.

A replica from a city we can't remember the name of.  

One of the minority groups lived in tree houses like the one pictured here.  Unfortunately we don't know the name of the group.

At the end Zack got his picture taken while sitting in a live elephants trunk.  I told him I would pay him to do it because he was nervous.  It turned out really cute and they laminated it for us too.  I think it cost $5 or so.

When asked how he felt sitting in the elephant's trunk?  "Terrified".

Funny story:  On the way out everyone had to use the toilet (that's what they call it) except me (I try to not eat or drink much so I don't have to use the squatters and I just wait and go at our hotel as much as I can).  I was just standing there (Steve was somewhere sitting down with the baby) by the entrance waiting and this man comes right up to me, circles round me, all the while speaking Chinese, points his finger in my face, and then laughs out loud, speaks some more Chinese and then walks away, still chuckling.  Weird.  And funny.  I told Zack what happened so he would feel better about being stared at all the time and it just made him really mad which I thought was cute.  I am trying not to take it personally, I think maybe he was just looking at my blue eyes and commenting and then realized I couldn't understand and so he laughed.  I keep telling myself that anyway.

On the way back from the village we were all starving so Paul said he would take us to a restaurant and order for us since we have been having trouble knowing what to get.  He takes us to this pretty big, nice looking (upon first glance) restaurant around 2:00 pm and we walk in and there are literally 15 employees all over the dining room sleeping in the chairs with their heads on the tables, some stretched out over a couple of chairs, some people just sitting and smoking.  My first instinct was to turn and run from the place.  Steve asks Paul if this is a bad sign and Paul just says:  "I think this is normal, it is not really the usual time for eating".  OK then.  Upon further inspection of the restaurant, I notice it is extremely filthy (most of the restaurants we have been to are very dirty, we are not dining at 5 star hotels, we like to eat where the people eat, it just has its drawbacks).  The floors are covered with spilled stuff, the table cloths have not been washed in ages, everything has a greasy film on it.  (Do I sound like a snob?  I'm really not trying to be, it's just how it was.)  Paul orders for us, we tell him we like our drinks ice cold and our soup hot (last place we ate at he ordered us soup and it came cold and the soda's are always warm) and he looks at us like we are crazy and says "reeaally?"

Well the food came and it was really good.  We were skeptical when he ordered us bamboo but it was so good!  You peel it like an artichoke, kind of, and then dipped it in spicy sauce.  I could go for some more of that.  We had some other dishes that were good too.  The other weird thing is you would think in China that rice would just come with your meal right?  Wrong.  You have to ask for it specifically.  While we were ordering we told him to make sure and get rice and I look over and there is this bucket of rice on a sideboard table, all old and dry. My mom and I told Paul to make sure we didn't get THAT rice and he just looked at us like we were crazy again and said of coarse we wouldn't be served that rice.  You just never know in China. 

Our lunch restaurant.  Note the employee asleep in the chair above.

We let Daisy feed herself some of the food and she made an absolute mess and spilled my soup again!  It was very funny and we took some pictures of her covered in rice.  She is happiest if she gets to eat what we eat and use her hands.  But, I am having a hard time getting fluids in her because she will only eat formula from a bottle, when I try to give her juice or water in the bottle she freaks.  She does however want to drink from our water bottles but then she pours the whole thing all over her self and ends up wet all day.  I have even tried different nipples but no.  What baby doesn't like juice?  Also, she is the slowest bottle drinker I have ever seen (and I work in the NICU so I know slow eaters!)  She takes like 45 minutes to drink 4 oz!  We'll keep trying.

"I can't get enough rice!"

"What?  You've never seen someone snort rice up their nose!?"

After lunch, it was back to the hotel for rest and then pool time.  Since Daisy was so keen to get in last time, we put her suit on and my mom and I took the kids while Steve did some work.  Swim caps are required!  We looked ridiculous!  Daisy loved splashing and playing with her cups in the water.  She was a little nervous about just being all the way in but loved sitting on the side and bending down to the water.

Too tired to even play his Nintendo DS.

Ready to swim and loving the stacking cups.

Our pool at the hotel.  It was very nice and clean.

After some more rest, we headed out to find dinner. I was needing something safe so we found a place I had heard about that had pizza and some American food, but also some Chinese food called Ma Ma Fu's.  It was half good and half bad.  Once again Daisy fed herself and made a mess.  Forget wearing anything twice and saving on laundry!  Ha!

After that, it was home and to bed!

(This post is way long so I will talk about today in another one, Goodnight!)