|We woke up to a very rainy day. We had to meet downstairs at 9:30 am to head back to the Civil Affairs office to do some paperwork, pay fees and become Elisabeth's official parents. When we arrived the waiting room was filled with parents and their new babies. Another group had already been there ahead of us (they were from a different agency). We got to meet the orphanage director and lady in charge of the childrens program at Elisabeth's orphanage. We were able to ask them some questions and then Peter (our guide) translated for us. We found out there are about 40 or so children at the Linxiang SWI and probably half of them are infants. The whole trip to the Civil Affairs office only took 1 hour and 20 minutes. We were in and out of there pretty quick. I don't think we will be able to go see her orphanage though because it would take about 6 hours. That's a long time on a bus.
While we were waiting we looked out the window of the waiting room and there was a school in the building next door. The windows were open in the school and in the waiting room and the kids were yelling hello and waving to us. We waved back and said hello over and over again. We probably completely disrupted whatever the teacher had them doing.
After the Civil Affairs Office we came back to the hotel and had lunch.Then we had free time in the afternoon. We came back to the room and took a nap! Elisabeth was very tired and had a screaming fit because she was so tired but was fighting sleep. She can scream with the best of them that's for sure. Finally she drifted off to sleep and she, Ansley and I slept for an hour and a half or so.When we woke up from our nap we played a little and then decided to take a walk since it had stopped raining. We walked down the street and around the corner and went into 2 department stores. Wow,were we stared at. Not only did we have a blond hair, blue eyed child with us, we also had a asian baby strapped to me. I could feel all the eyes following us around the store. We got lots of stares on the street also. We didn't buy anything at the department stores but we did find a grocery type store at the top floor of the Apollo store. We bought Oreo's, Lays potato chips and more bottled water. Elisabeth started to pitch a fit so we left and headed back for the hotel. If I thought we were being stared at before, it was nothing now that I had a screaming baby strapped to me. Everyone was looking for sure!
We came back to the room and then headed for dinner at 6:30. For every meal they've been bringing the babies steamed eggs or congee (kind of like rice cereal). Elisabeth likes both so it's been kind of nice not having to buy baby food. We had cooked pumpkin for lunch and I was able to smash that up and feed it to her also. She liked it. She also like the Gerber Veggie Puffs that we brought her from home.
It is very humid here. I mean very humid. And the rain each morning isn't helping at all. Most buildings don't have much air condition so it's hard to get away from the hot and humidity. It cooled off some this afternoon and felt good as we walked around outside. I felt like people were staring at me though because I had Elisabeth in short sleeves and her bare legs were showing. Oh well. I kept waiting for someone to say something to me about it but they never did.I think there is a KFC near the Apollo store we went to today. I think we might have to visit it soon or find a McDonald's because Ansley is living off junk food. She didn't eat anything for dinner tonight. They had fried rice instead of plain white rice so Ansley wouldn't eat it. I don't think I will want rice for a little while after I get home. At least it's filling but I'm getting a little tired of eating it at every meal.
Here are some things I've noticed about Changsha:
It's very crowded and not as clean as Beijing is
You take a huge risk if you try to cross the street (and I mean huge)
You even take a risk walking on the sidewalk because cars drive there too, along with bikes and motor scooters. You really have to pay attention to where you are walking. No place is safe from being run over!