Tuesday, July 07, 2015

CCCWA, hutongs, Forbidden City
First thing in the morning we were taken to CCCWA which is the Chinese agency that handles all adoptions foreign and domestic. We got to see the room where the children's paperwork (dossier) is matched with the adoptive parents. There were stacks of kids dossiers in process. Each one has the child's picture on it and Georgie was super excited to look at them! After that they put on a short class on Chinese brush calligraphy and paper cutting. G likes that kind of thing so she was happy.

Next stop was the hutongs for a rickshaw/pedicab ride and lunch in local family's house. Our guide, a young guy of maybe 30, was apparently born in the hutongs. His family had lived there for four generations but had to move when the government needed the property for another use. Only about 30% of the hutongs are still in existence which is kind of sad.

Anyway we ended up with the very best rickshaw driver. He was so funny. He was passing all the other rickshaws by grabbing on to the one ahead of him and then pulling himself forward. Then if they tried to pass him he took out a stick and pretended he was going to hit them ...hysterical!! The lunch was like all our tour lunches... So many dishes!!

We then moved in to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The weather had started to cool a bit which was appreciated. That morning Bobby's phone had shown possibility of thunderstorms but mine didn't. We figured it was unlikely. Uh yeah. As we were standing in the middle of the giant square we felt a drop of two then BAM!!! Torrential downpour. I'm pretty sure I saw actual dogs and cats falling from the sky ;-)

Everyone ran for cover in the tunnel that leads to the Forbidden City and we just waited. It was raining so hard that the steps leading up to the street looked like a waterfall feature. We waited for about 20 mins then just decided to go for it. It pretty much poured the whole time we were there. Just about the time we were leaving it stopped and the sun came out. Oy. We couldn't have been any wetter if we'd jumped into a swimming pool with our clothes on. The good thing is that for the first time since we'd been in china I felt cool ;-)

Final stop was Peking duck for dinner. Again so, so many dishes: 2 or 3 duck plates, chicken, sweet and sour pork, eggplant, soup, rice, fried fish, and at least 5 more I don't recall. I'd say each meal leaves more than half of the food.

By this point we were all exhausted. My pedometer had us at 5.5 miles walking for the day. We had sweated and been rained on. Really it could take it out of anyone. But the kids all seem to be holding up pretty well. They're all very sweet.

At the entrance of CCCWA:

Georgie is serious about her art!

In our rickshaw

Courtyard living:

Tiananmen Square, the rain will be arriving in just a few minutes

There it is!

Georgie wanted us to do a princess pose, haha!

We saw quite a bit of this style on our trip. We all found it somewhat amusing.
So, last time we were in BJ was in 2008 just a few days before we met Georgie. We had our picture taken under the wedding tree. Supposedly there is a famous photo of the last emperor and his wife taken here. I always mean to look for it but never remember. Anyway, it was fun to have G with us this time. She really is our heart.

This is the Peking duck dinner. There was always so much food.


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