Monday, June 21, 2010

Shopping Anyone!!!

This morning our guide Cindy picked us up at the hotel and the van driver drove us to the Inner Mongolia Museum only to find it closed. (Monday) So, I was OK with that because the driver said he would take us shopping! So we drove to a part of Hohhot that was a different community as the people we saw even knew our guide Cindy was different than the locals. We went to the Hohhot Meng Laing Minmao Co. Ltd. (To me it resembled an indoor flea market.) The first section was a sterile area that was making dried beef and lamb jerky. (Inner Mongolians are known for being sheep herders and mutton and beef are often on the menu.) This place made a variety of flavors that you could sample. Chuck and Dad tried it but I am being careful these days. I did try and buy the famous "milk candy" as with the cattle here they have dairy items. (It is kind of like vanilla taffy.) From there we went into a leather and silk shop where ladies and men were working on a variety of leather items and scarves....It bothered me that it kind of reminded me of what a sweat shop looks like, but I asked and Cindy told me each is paid by how much they produce. (They all smiled and looked comfortable???) So as we went on, we found where Inner Mongolian knives are made and Chuck purchased a very fancy knife and has shipped it home so that we do not have to try to get it on the planes home...yikes! (But it costed more to ship it than the cost of the knife.) I purchased both girls a traditional Inner Mongolian wedding style hat and dress, both very beautiful. I was excited to buy for my big girl and my little girl! Dakota's is really beautiful and Shiloh's is cute. I was concerned that the hats are red, but the dresses are hot pink and the sales lady through interpretation told me this is fine, this is how we dress...."OK"! All the chinese seem to know "O.K." I will try to attach a picture so you can see Dakota! Some things were very cheap and other things were thousands. I was trying to brouse but the sales clerks are right on you...following you to each counter. I will have to say this was OK, as they kind of stay near you but say very little...when I was in the islands on a trip years ago, the sales clerks took every step right behind you and I had been so annoyed I left. This was at least nice. We have a blast riding in the van with the driver and hanging on for dear life. Chuck and Poppy sit in the van and laugh at all our close calls. I cannot understand how the bikers do not end up hit, but everyone gets there. Today is Monday and business started with traffic heavy by 9:00am. Again, we slept pretty well today, until 5:30am but then the honking started. All the cars honk at each other and what I have come to realize is if they honk you better move. It is a warning honk. I told out guide that you cannot honk in Atlanta or someone will beat you up. It is such a different world here. On the way to the shopping we did notice the crumbled buildings and pretty poor living conditions. Cows next to a home and all. Little markets and shops that our guide warned us not to eat at due to "hygiene conditions". (We knew better!) I know my buddies south of here are getting their children right now as I post. (Can't wait to see pictures guys! Miss you!) We still have tonight to wait it out and tomorrow Shiloh will be here. The plan is for us to wait in our room and our guide Cindy will call us and bring Shiloh to our room so it will be less stressful for her. Even though it will be around Midnight, Nana will be on with Skype to see. We went to the market near our hotel and got a stroller for her as running through all these airports will be tough trying to carry a child. She may have never even seen one so we will see how that goes. I talked to our guide about the reasons for abandonment of babies here and she still agrees it is the one child policy, the preference for boys and the inability to care for children with special needs. She also mentioned the babies that are born to unwed mothers or where marriages break up and the children are abandoned. Like I said this is just a different world. We will never have all the answers to Shiloh's past but little by little putting the puzzle together will be important to her future. Please everyone take time to pray tomorrow between 11 and 1pm that Shiloh is happy being handed to us...that she knows that we are her parents and that there is love with us. Please pray for us as this is so very scary but we cannot wait to have her in our arms. It is about a 3 hour drive depending on the traffic from Baotou to here. We have plans for dinner tonight with the friends who got their 2 year old son yesterday, so it will be fun to hang out with those who speak English. I am doing pretty good with a little madarin on this or that. Hope I can talk a little to Shiloh and have her understand it or maybe I might have a little Mandarin/Southernese going on! Poppy says so far he just feels like he has been on a great vacation. I woke this morning and didn't know where I was at first...guess I slept too hard....oh I thought, still in China. We are OK, but I have never felt so far away from home and although we did Skype with Dakota and Wendi and family this is too much to be 7000 miles away from hugging your 5 year old. It is hard. Home sick? Yes, but tomorrow starts a new adventure, our down time will be occupied with a bundle of energy I am sure. I might not have time to even think about it. You know how when you go to the store and you notice a foreign family walking around looking confused when they shop? (That is how we must look as I pull out a calculator to see how much something costs in American Money!) It really has been facsinating learning the culture my child is coming from. I had prayed when we started this process that Shiloh would come from an unusual place in China. I think we about got what I prayed for, for the most part. We are in the middle of nowhere! But we are having a good time!


Nevin's Mummy said...

We'll be thinking of you tomorrow! Warm hugs and prayers! Thank you for sharing all your photos...can't wait to read more!

Anonymous said...

Prayers are going up now for tomorrow. Can't wait to see pictures!



Anonymous said...

Kim, Chuch & Poppy. . .How exciting
for you all. . .We will lift you all up and I know Shiloh will LOVE
her new family. . .The time is close now as this has been a long
time coming. . .but worth every second. . .

Love to you All,

Kim & J.D.

Anonymous said...

Godspeed Kim & Chuck! Praying all goes well and that Shiloh will be with her Mommy & Daddy soon! So excited for your family. Talk to you when you get back. love, Dennie

Anonymous said...

praying constantly for you guys...can't wait to see shiloh in your arms kim...will wake up and check your blog asap.

praying God's blessing for y'all,

sbtate said...

We are so excited for your family!!! Our prayers today are focused on a decent night's sleep, your health, and Shilohs adjustment to her forever family. We cannot wait to see your first photos! Looking forward to hearing all about your day tomorrow. Praise God, who has held you safe all this time.