Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Staying Close to Home

Or at least, close to our home away from home! The girls were so tired yesterday afternoon, I figured we needed a slower pace today. So we pretty much stayed in and around the Poly Hotel today. We got a later start -- not that we slept later, we just had cookies in the room before going down for breakfast! After breakfast, we walked through the garden/park that is behind the hotel. I'm not sure whether it really belongs to the hotel, or to the apartment buildings behind the hotel, but the girls really enjoyed it. There are little paths through trees, with paving stones that look like tree stumps, as well as a table and chairs made of faux tree stumps. The girls had a ball escaping from imaginary lions and chasing real butterflies.

We also walked up and down the street in front of the hotel. There are several restaurants and shops, including one stall where we bought mandarin oranges still on their branch. One of the shops had cages of live chickens, and Zoe figured it out pretty quickly -- "They're for eating, right?" Right.

The other Fulbrighters are arriving now, because our orientation session starts tomorrow. We ran into one Fulbrighter while we were in the park, and another family on the street as we walked. When we returned to the hotel, we met another family who have a 9-year-old daughter who was adopted from China. Zoe was happy to meet some kids to play with. While I'm in meetings, Zoe and Maya will be in the adjoining meeting room with the other kids and babysitters. We'll see how that goes . . . .

We had a big Chinese lunch in the hotel, and it was quite fun trying to order what we wanted. Between pictures in the menu, and my "Essential Guide to Mandarin Chinese," the waitstaff put together a meal of fried noodles, fried rice, crispy-skin chicken, and spinach. The girls insisted on using thier chopsticks, though they don't quite have the hang of it yet! The girls simply LOVED the chicken, though near the end they were asking for just the crispy skin, no chicken!

After lunch we walked in the park again. There's a small playground, and the girls liked the self-propelled merry-go-round. We then went to a small store across the street for a treat -- we bought ice cream!

We all napped this afternoon before our first official Fulbright function -- a welcome-to-China dinner in the hotel restaurant. Zoe ate chicken and fruit, and Maya ate corn and more corn and more corn! We had very nice Cantonese fare, much more subtly flavored than most Chinese cuisine. The group of Fulbrighters seem very nice, and include quite a few children.

Off to bed, more tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Hello everyone! It appears you're all having a great adventure so far. Its great to see the pictures of the girls, and to read your daily reviews. Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you're all doing great! Can't wait to hear more. Ferris Family 4