Hintons 2015

Hintons 2015

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday on Shamian Island

For those of you who don’t know what Shamian Island is, it’s a beautiful little piece of land carved out by the Pearl River that originally was part of colonial Britain’s territory. The colonial influence is very apparent in the architecture. The hotel we are staying at is on the island. It is so different from the rest of China, in fact when you are walking around you tend to forget for a moment that you are in China.

Our group got up fairly early for a tour so we opted to sleep in & meet up with the group later. We had a nice leisurely breakfast & went out for a walk around the island afterwards. It was so beautiful to see all of the families out in the parks & squares that grace the island. People were playing badminton, hacky sack (the Chinese have this different kind of hacky which is a stack of discs & has a feather in the middle) and the little ones just running around. We also saw about 5 bridal couples donning their apparel & getting their pictures taken. The island has beautiful old trees that are draped with Spanish Moss. It just has such a different feeling from the rest of the city.

We also came across an old church that was having service. We were welcomed in & sat for a few minutes to listen into the music. There were just starting their English service so it was nice to hear what they had to say. I can certainly say the same God we serve in the US is alive & moving in China. I have heard so many things in the past about religious repression that it brought me to tears sitting there in this church listening to them praise the Lord. Maddy was a little restless so we didn’t stay long, but as we continued on our walk you could hear the music from pretty far away.

In the afternoon we hired Ann from Red Thread (who did our care package) to take us shopping. She took us into some of the back alleys & places that rarely see foreigners to get us some of the best deals. We got a boatload of stuff for a fraction of what it would cost us on the island. We were pretty impressed about how she had taught herself English & Spanish from the 4 years that she did work on the island. She now has a partnership with an American that runs a web site sending care packages to China & also getting various items that people may have wanted to buy here but forgot or their child has grown out of from previous visits.
It was another rough night for me again as I was pretty sick. I am feeling better today & thankfully it was not as bad as before. We are now just 1 ½ days from coming home!
~Maddy’s Mom

It’s been a few days since I (Matt) last wrote something, so I thought I would pipe in this morning and say a few things. First, getting sick is the pits, but getting sick while traveling in a foreign country where English barely spoken makes it worse. I hope that the worst is behind us. It wouldn’t be quite so terrible if it was just the two of us, but with Maddy to take care of it makes things extra challenging. Having taken Maddy to breakfast a couple times alone I found it nearly impossible to manage carrying a baby and trying to juggle a plate at the buffet. After these experiences, I have a great deal of respect for single parents who are able to manage tasks like these on a daily basis.

Second, Maddy is doing great! We are constantly amazed at how quickly Madison is developing, it seems like everyday she makes a new sound or expression. She is tons of fun at play time and has provided some very entertaining moments as she makes new discoveries, or does something new, or just does something hilarious. We are so blessed!!!

Guangzhou is an amazing place! I would like to echo what Tanya has already said about this being a magical place. The architecture reminds me a bit of Sydney, Australia except that the streets have Chinese names and the inhabitants are all Chinese. This place is beautiful and the weather in very comfortable for shorts and t-shirts. This would be a great place to come for a vacation and to get a taste for Asian culture and not be overwhelmed by it like we were in Nanchang. This place seems to cater to westerners and has just enough of a feeling of home to keep you comfortable.

Finally, yesterday as Tanya stated we made a haul in our shopping excursion, and bought so much stuff we now find ourselves in need of another suitcase in order to haul it all home. Our shopping guide (Ann from Red Thread) saved us a small fortune in Yuan by getting us some great prices. A quick story about our experience yesterday… While visiting one of the markets where I was looking at a mahjong set, there was a street beggar going from store to store begging for money from the shopkeepers. One shopkeeper who in his mind was particularly stingy by his standard got a stern cussing out. A few shops down the way and the man met his match when a woman shopkeeper started taking a swing at him with a wooden stool. It was quite a site.

Great news! We just received word that are documents are in order and have been accepted by the US Consulate! Tomorrow, we will be sworn in and Maddy will officially become a US Citizen!

~Maddy's Daddy


Muriel Pfeifer said...

Hurrah! Finally everything will be in place and we'll see you soon!

Kelly & Sindy said...





Beth said...

Praying for safe travels and a glorious welcome home for little Maddy!

Beth (Group 91)

Dan & Karen Herman said...

It's awesome you found a church service to attend on Sunday! We are loving every one of your updates and are so happy for you. Madison is adorable!

Michael and Gina said...

Love all of the pics! Great to see the smiling faces. Woo hoo to shopping with Ann - I loved it too! Congratulations! Gina (Caleeo)