Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today we went to a function put on by the FCC (Families with Children from China) support group. It was great that it was the week after Chinese New Year so it didn't clash with other commitments. They had someone come in from the Cathay Club to speak to us about what Chinese New Year means and the children could paint a lantern or a pig mask, and some of them painted lion heads so they could all do a Lion dance. The little Chinese children are so gorgeous! It mad me so clucky except that I confess the idea of going back to nappies and whatnot is a little intimidating. Gemma & Ben are so easy to look after these days! Oh well, I remember feeling the same way when I had Ben because Gemma was 5 by then, but you get past it.

It was great to speak to people who have been through what we are going through, and many of them are very happy to help us out by answering our numerous questions. It was also fantastic to meet some people who are at the exactly the same stage us, so hopefully in the future will be our batch buddies.

I asked Gemma & Ben what their favourite part of the morning was and they both replied "The food."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yesterday I got a phone call from the Dept of Child Safety to say that our file looks all fine and we should send $2000 to cover our assessment fee. I have that ready to send today, and apparently we should start our social worker interviews in the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our holiday to China - still in Wuxi

We spent the next couple of days sightseeing & shopping in Wuxi. We bought coats and other warm clothes for Beijing and we visited the Tai Lake. The lake was beautiful but it was so cold that we didn't hang around to look for long. Holly also took us to a place where movies are made - there are lots of movie sets - apparently the Japanese TV series "Monkey" was filmed there. (And I know you are all going "ha! Monkey!" in your best Pigsy voice now.)

Above is the Carrefour supermarket, which I believe is a French chain. I just loved the supermarket - the fresh food section was so extensive. If you wanted, say, an omelette, there was a chef making fresh omelettes. It was like buying cold meat at a supermarket here - but SO much better. Later on, in Beijing, I went to the supermarket a few times and bought food to cook in our apartment. Eating out was wonderful, but I do love to cook.

We also visited Holly's dad's textiles factory, and her aunt's clothing factory. We were surprised by the very good working conditions - it's not what you expect from what we hear about Chinese factories.

On the evening of the 10th, we went to Wuxi train station, said goodbye and "xie xie" (thank you) a million times to Holly and her family, then boarded our "soft sleeper" overnight to Beijing.
Here are some more phots from the park in Wuxi. It was stunning when we where there in Winter - I'd love to go back and see it in Spring.

Our holiday to China... Wuxi
We spent the next 3 days in Wuxi being tour-guided by Holly, our lovely Chinese student, and her very generous family. We visited a park with tunnels under the mountains, and in one of the tunnels was a small reptile display. When I say "small", I mean the display was small. The reptiles were not small. They had a crocodile, a big goanna type thing and two enormous pythons. One of the snakes was rubbing his head on his body as though he was scratching himself. After watching him for a little while, we realised that he was actually shedding his skin. We had arrived just in time to watch him. It was the most amazing sight. We could have stayed all day but Holly's mum, Zhou, was waiting outside as she really doesn't like snakes.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm happy to announce that we completed our family profiles and other homework and delivered it to the department on 2nd February 2007. More information as it comes to hand...