Georgia Kahn writes...
Hi my name is Georgia.
I think that China was so cool and I would want to go again.
My favorite part about China is when we went to Guilin.
One of the trips we went to this cave and the rocks had lots of shapes that you would know.
Also we went to Elephant Hill. It was so cool you got to see statues of elephants in the water.
I went to the orphanage where I lived when I was a baby and got to see my foster-father. He asked me if I had lots of friends at home. I also got to the see park where I was left.
It was really fun to be with my other friends who I call my “Chinese sisters” during the trip.
Georgia’s Mom, Pam writes...
July 2 , 2009 Thursday: Airplane to Hong Kong from Newark airport: was bliss: sat with Georgia and we watched 3 movies. She also slept a lot. My dream for months has been to watch movie after movie. And so – there it was. You could choose classic, comedy, new releases, all sorts of options and then under each a plethora of movies. I watched Bride Wars, Pink Panther 2, and Walk the Line. I think Walk the Line was moving because it was all about a family and a woman standing by her man.
July 4, 2009 Saturday – we landed Friday night in Hong Kong and had a double room. One room with a pull out couch for Georgia and room for me and James. And a wonderful pool with steps you could walk all the way down into the pool, and the water flowed onto the deck in a small waterfall way. Best thing was the breakfast. I had 3 meals at breakfast. Cereal and yogurt, eggs with vegetable curry (yummy combo) and then salad. Oh fresh greens!
Went to art museum in Hong Kong, found out that Yanghsou where we are going, was something of an artist’s colony. The 8 eccentrics of Yanshou were painters. Li Shon is a painter from previous century who painted with his fingers and did tree trunks. Modern painter was Sun Zhijun who did painting of White Bull going standing outside blue round wall. Reminded me of the somewhat primitive pottery at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in the Chinese section where there were clay sculptures of farm houses with animals in them. The modern painters use many of the old motifs.
Victoria Peak – could have done without. Too commercial and the worst pasta I have ever eaten in my life. None of the kids could eat it.
July 5, Sunday – went to Guangzhou by train and saw White Swan and took picture on red couch. Of course, there are many red couches. Then to airport to fly to Nanning. Waited at a McDonalds for hours. I had the reptile game that the kids played. Didn’t get to Nanning til late.
July 6, Monday – went to Walmart in morning to get gifts for orphanage – in our case the baby vitamins. We went to mother’s love in afternoon. Hannah took us there – a beautiful Chinese woman with wild hair. She read us from Georgia’s medical records and showed us a picture of Georgia with Liu Guangqi (or Guanygi?) – the director. We took another picture with the director. They gave Georgia a doll of Zhuang nationality as many people in Nanning are that nationality. They didn’t think Georgia was because she does not look like that except her lips.
We found out that Georgia was found in Chao Yang Park on Oct 9, 1998 at 6 am by a policeman. It is a park where there is singing and dancing. They think maybe she is not from Nanning or Guangxi, because most people in Nanning drop their babies off at a place different from that Park. That park is near Nanning Department Store. Hannah read some medical records. On 10/10/98 Georgia had a medical exam. Heart 140 beat per minute. Nutrition medium.
Medical records also showed: On Nov 11, 1998 Georgia was sent to mother’s love from the first orphanage she was in. Mother’s love can’t receive babies directly from the place they are abandoned but can from other orphanages. Nov 17, 1998 right ear infection. Nov 20, 1998 heat rash. Nov 24, fever and ear swollen.
Jan 18, 1999 ear infection and in hospital 22 days and then back to mother’s love. Feb 24, back to hospital to check ear infection and says recovered. I am moved by the good care Georgia apparently got.
Old mother’s love where Georgia was still had statue of mother and baby, we took pictures. New mother’s love next door and they take care of a lot of Aid’s babies. The boy with the big head who we remembered from when we got Georgia is still there.
Went to foster father’s home. Foster mother died in 2005 of lung cancer. They said she was always busy and doing things. Place looked same. Foster father looked same.
Hannah agreed with me that Georgia looks like him. He seemed very pleased to see her. Foster mother’s name is Lei Yun Xiu. Foster father’s name is Qin Qin. He asked if she spoke any Chinese and if she had neighbors close by to play with like where he lives. There were neighbors nearby who were there and remembered Yun Xia (Georgia’s Chinese name). They say she was a good baby, and didn’t cry a lot, and was chubby. Surprised that she is now tall and thin.
They said she was a picky eater. Foster father had his arm around her or leaning toward her much of the time. Pointed to room Georgia slept in with the foster mother. Foster father slept in another room. There was another foster child they had at the same time. All the villagers lined up to say hello when we were done with the visit. Foster father burned things that belonged to the foster mother – tradition – but said he would like it if we sent pictures of foster mother and YunXia to him.
Dinner at restaurant near Majestic Hotel where we are staying in Nanning. Jack our guide ordered. He has been a really terrific guide.
Georgia is excited. She woke up at 4 am the night after our visit to the orphanage and foster-father.
July 7, Tuesday – everyone went to sightseeing to climb a hill in Nanning. But Lydia is here with Jessica who doesn’t feel well and I stayed at the hotel to rest and write.
July 8, Wednesday: went to Guilin via airplane. A very civilized airport. Not like 10 years ago where the teeming masses converged on the gates and pushed and shoved and no lines existed. And no one spoke English then. Now many people do. There were fake palm trees of different colors when we landed in Guilin. Really terrific looking. I took pictures to show to Lisa and Deck as they won’t believe how much it has changed. Fei is our guide. Jim stayed in the room (Bravo hotel in Guilin). It was on the opposite shore as the one we stayed at last time. Ten years ago it was the Royal Garden. A pink hotel with steps going down to the river. Place where Georgia and I went into the Lee river and I “baptized” her as mine.
Couldn’t believe I could be so fortunate as to have her for a daughter. Had lunch at the left bank restaurant. There was snake wine (wine with snakes in it) and a dragon carved on the watermelon. After lunch we did much tourist stuff. We went to Fubo Hill. This is a hill that is near a statue of General Fubo. He helped China in a war against Vietnam (I think). Also a lovely story about a princess whose father was the first governor of the area and the father betrayed the emperor of china and was killed. But the emperor took the daughter in to his home and raised her and she was very loyal to the emperor.
The emperor sent her back to Guilin and married her to one of his court. Emperor knew that the people of Guilin would only like a local person as leader. The princess never knew her father had betrayed emperor and apparently towns people never told her. She build a beautiful bell and also the huge rice cooker that makes rice for 1,000 for the local people. We climbed to top of Fobu hill. Went to the caves – Reed Flute Cave. No light and is totally dark when the lights are off. They have the colored lights . People chasing after you to get you to buy things. Georgia is just as she always is – so full of life and enthusiasm. A ten year old version of the little girl who would get so excited and just jump up and down as a baby.
July 9, Thursday. Boat trip down Li River to Yangshuo. James bought a fake jade lion from these two men who paddled their bamboo boat up along side our river boat and held onto our boat and tried to sell us stuff through the window. Like an old 1800s movie scene with men running up to a train on horseback and jumping on. Jim bought the lion to give them a donation for their prowess. I like the lion and that Jim bought it. Loved the phoenix tail bamboo trees that is all along the river. Plumes of green foliage shooting off the bamboo.
Went to a performance on the Li River at night directed by man who directed opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics. 5 ethnic groups and 5 different “scenes.” One was people using rafts behind lines of red cloth and pulling the cloth along the length of the river in about 20 lines and undulating. And then hundreds of kids with hair that is only cut once in their lives. Love hotel in Yangshuo. Looks like an old monastery. It is Paradisa Hotel just off the market on west street.
July 10, Friday. Best day so far. Rode bikes and some of us on golf cart, through local villages. Stopped at a woman named Pan’s farm and she has rice paddies and many other vegetables. Grandson lives with her and his parent s live in one room in Guangzhou. I guess fairly common to have kids live with grandparents and send money home. Her younger son lives with her and is an amateur artist. Would like to get some Yangshuo poetry. I like paintings/pictures of doorways. Took picture of Pan’s doorway out the back of her house. She has chickens. Bought lots of little toys from her.
Georgia rode a little while on the bike. She was great and it was scary – a car rode towards her but she moved over and put her feet down, but was very scared after. Then we took our pictures in a rice paddy. Fei said it wouldn’t be a good idea to work in a rice paddy for a day when I suggested that as an experience. Snakes, leeches, etc. and Chinese know what to do about it and we don’t. Jim rode for awhile and Lee got in golf cart. Jim was on the really bumpy part and his elbow is broken and that hurt. Then we went on bamboo rafts down river.
People on river took pictures and sold them to us. Bought souvenirs at night. West St. turns into a wild area at night with bars, etc. James was out for an hour and a half after we went to hotel. We were nervous about not knowing where he was. G says funny, witty things, like “bamboo dot com” for the people taking pictures on the river.
July 11, Saturday. Two hour bus ride to Guilin airport and then fly to Beijing. I am in hotel while the rest of our group are out sightseeing.
July 12, Sunday – tour guide Nancy. English not too good. Duane made a funny characterization of Chevy Chase vacation movies where you go stand there, say, ok, check, saw that and move on. Nancy tells us a lot of history and things about Mao and the emperors. Her perspective on Mao is very different from ours. She tells us a lot about Chinese ancient superstitions like praying to god of heaven to give rain, etc. She thinks Mao is wonderful and maybe made some mistakes but is responsible for giving them the new China. We went to the forbidden city. Wonderful but too crowded. Each building only has one doorway and all the tourists pushing and shoving to get to big doorway of each building to have a look inside. A big chair in each building for the emperor.
Everyone else had to stand. The emperor could have had 3000 concubines. Eldest son is next emperor. There was a sword in a stone opposite the forbidden city. Realize so many cultures have the sword thing going on. King Arthur to pull it out, Mao to put it in, though I forget what it symbolizes for Mao, but he made huge sword stuck in cement. No trees in the Forbidden City. Late lunch but best lunch with something that tasted like Moo Shoo Pork. Then to temple of heaven. Relief to see all the juniper trees but not the temple in which they made cow sacrifices and had statues of cows lying down. Back at hotel for hour and a half. Started chess game with Jim.
Saw Kung Fu show at night. It was great. Then ice cream and pizza with Heaton family at pizza hut afterwards. I ordered for me and and Georgia, and the waitress said, “The small person hasn’t ordered anything,” meaning G. I had ordered her a pizza but so cute to have her called the small person, and to think of her as a person, not just my daughter or a child.
Rest of week touring Beijing. A real thrill to see the Olympic Venues – the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest.
We also had fun bargaining at the silk market.
The kids all had a fantastic time together.
Peking Duck dinner was great.