Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All's Well!

Maya seems fully recovered, and did fine at school today. Good thing -- I had to teach my last class today, and wasn't sure what I'd do if she was still sick!

So, with classes over, my only work duties are grading papers and distributing the books and office supplies I had shipped here. The Fulbright program allows you to ship teaching materials and other books via diplomatic pouch -- I think that's really funny, that's it's via diplomatic pouch. I've always had this vision of the diplomatic pouch as a briefcase handcuffed to some diplomat's wrist. I've since discovered that there is a "Pouch Facility" in suburban Washington, D.C., and boxes and cases and crates are shipped through there to embassies and consulates overseas. I shipped 5 boxes, each about the size of a banker's box, filled with books. So much for the romance and mystery of the diplomatic pouch!

To distribute the books, I'll give right of first refusal to several faculty members who teach American law or comparative law, and then the rest of the books will be donated to the Xiada law library. I've already promised my two DVD sets on the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court (both PBS series, and very good) to the history professor I've mentioned -- I think they will be more useful to history students than law students.

It's also time to start getting serious about getting packed up to leave. We're going to try to come home with no more luggage than we left with, so I need to be ruthless about what we leave here. I've already got one suitcase packed with the few winter clothes we need to bring back (so much of the stuff is now outgrown or worn out so we can leave it behind), souvenirs, and the tons of gifts we acquired while in Guangxi Province. We'll leave all the household items we've bought and all the English reading material we brought with us for the next occupants. Once we subract everything we brought with us that was consumable -- shampoo, toothpaste, medicines, etc. -- we'll be fine, I think. And if worse comes to worse, we can always buy another suitcase and pay the overweight charge -- it'll only be for the domestic flight from here to Guangzhou, since we only had one checked bag apiece coming over and we're entitled to two checked pieces on the international leg.

We still have a little time -- our flight leaves Guangzhou for LAX on July 31 -- that's 14 days. But we're looking at taking a little trip to Xi'an next week. It's the one place in China I've always wanted to go and have always managed to miss. Some friends of ours from Fort Worth (Hi Sue, Maggie & Meredith!) will be visiting there, and we're trying to make plans to join them. And I'm about to make our flight plans from Xiamen to Guangzhou, and I'm thinking about going to Guangzhou a day early and having one last fling at the White Swan before we leave China. So all these frolics and detours are going to cut into our purging and packing time.

My goodness, I think I better stop writing and get busy! Bye for now!


Wendy said...

Get it all in; it is not like you can return for a weekend excursion!

You are doing better than I would--I am not a clothes horse, but I manage to stuff the bags. We looked like we were moving to China when we went to get Madeline! It was over the top coming home because her foster family added two extra luggage bags for us!

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm so bummed to think that your China adventures will be over in two weeks! I've been having the best time following your blog, and the views that you have provided us of life in China.

Elizabeth in KS

Anonymous said...

All over Xi'an they have the most beautiful porcelain dolls. The detail is incredible. I bought two while there and I have to admit they really did take up my luggage room. Although they appeared way too delicate to bring back, they boxed them up in styroafoam. Not even an outstretched finger was damaged. Be prepared while you are there to fall in love and buy one for each daughter! Okay, so much for coming back with the same amount of luggage...


Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe your time is almost over in China. I, too, have followed your every day with such interest. Again, may I say, as a "grannie", how much I admire your spirit. You have given a gift to your daughters that is truly priceless. Thank you for taking all of us along!! Safe travels!

Anonymous said...

Good luck packing! I don't envy you that. If you are like me, you accumulate so much stuff when you travel. I came back from Virginia with so much more than I left with. And, most was stuff I didn't need--like an extra set of measuring cups--so you will do yourself a favor if you leave stuff behind. Have a fabulous trip home!!

Dee Thompson said...

I hate to think of not reading your blog every day! Will you continue to blog? We single adoptive mothers of two need to be heard!

Take care,