Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Journey (Part 5)

We took our bus to the orphanage for a visit. I was nervous about going because I wasn't sure how Jessica would be. She'd had a bad night the night before so we were all pretty tired. When we got there, we went to the adoption director's office. Jess went to the women who held their arms out to her but almost immediately would hold her arms back out to me. The orphanage was very clean. The little ones sleep in a room with about 12 cribs in it but the older ones sleep in rooms with 2 children. We saw the playroom which had some climbing equipment and a lot of walkers, the lunchroom, the classroom, and Jess's bedroom. I was able to take pictures of two other children whose prospective adoptive parents had emailed me earlier. I dropped off care packages for two children, one of whom had just been moved into foster care which we hadn't known before.

When we got back, we had some free time before touring Old Jinan, so Mike, Jason, Jess & I took a walk to the Black Tiger Spring which was near the hotel. People were filling all types of containers from the spring. While I wouldn't drink it, I could sort of understand those getting the water out of the spout, but some were filling out of the pool of water and it didn't look very clean.

When we met up with everyone at the hotel, John led us on a walk to Old Jinan. He said it's a preserved area for tourists so we can see what it was like before it was built up. On the way, we passed a park where the kids wanted to play a bit. It was interesting to see the different types of equipment they have. Jason loved the version of swings they had.

Some of the streets had signs that told about them. This is Xiangfeng Alley which is the narrowest street in Jinan.

There are springs all over Jinan. Some are right outside people's homes and they wash their clothes in them. There were some very, very small springs and some which were quite large.
Men playing chinese chess. The playing pieces are flat disks with characters painted on rather than the different forms (horse, queen, etc) that we use.
Many of the houses had couplets hanging outside. Some were painted and others are printed onto the cloth. John said that he painted the one that hangs on his home. This couplet had to do with spring.
A hu tong is a small street. When we were in Beijing, Candy told us that there are only hu tongs in Beijing and that if we called a small street a hu tong in any other city, the people would laugh at us. Obviously she was wrong because this picture was taken in Jinan.
While there are a lot of cars in China, many people still ride bikes. You really need to watch out for the bikes because they are everywhere and don't follow all the traffic rules. They are supposed to follow the same rules as the cars but because they don't get ticketed, they frequently don't obey the rules such as stopping at lights.

No comments: