And we were off. We boarded the plane that would take us to Elizabeths province and even though it was a reasonably short flight, it seemed like eternity. We landed and followed the mass of parents to be and other travel companions through the Wuhan airport terminal to meet up with our new guide/s. There he stood with the only English words in sight printed in bold red letters, so he would have been hard to miss.
Once again, after retrieving our luggage (keep in mind 22+ families packed for a +/- 3-4 week adoption trip to a foreign country) so you can imagine this was no small feat! :) .. we were ushered off to another large nice AIR CONDITIONED bus. Our new guide was amazing. She had ice cold bottled water for all of us and proceeded to give us information on the schedule from here on out. She handed each family updates on their children which included feeding schedules, sleeping schedules, and other small bits of info about our children. It was like Christmas Eve. Each little tiny bit of information was like a peek under the tree. We learned if all went well, the babies would be brought to our hotel the next morning. We would attempt to get a good nights rest (yeah right..) and be 'ready' to go early in the a.m.
It was about an hours ride from the airport to our hotel in downtown Wuhan, so all this information was given during the ride. What a blurr! Wuhan was a very different city than what we had just left. Situated along the Yangtze River, Wuhan is a more industrial area, I would say much like Detroit or Pittsburg, only MUCH more polluted. I think if you ask anyone in our travel group, they would agree the pollution is indescribable. What we thought was fog, was smog. It never seemed to leave. We were glued to the window of the bus as we traversed the city and attempted to soak the culture in despite the barrier of the bus walls between us.
We later learned that parts of the Yangtze River are so polluted that there are cities along it where the men won't choose a wife that was born there due to the very high cancer rates (and thinking she will die young). I can believe this after seeing some of these areas as we passed. Very sad.
Finally, our big bus chugged into the Wuhan White Rose Hotel parking lot and we all piled out marching behind Johanna (our new guide) like little soldiers. She was our security blanket for the next week. She truly knew her stuff. Obviously she had been there done this before.
We took the elevator to the 18th floor and stepped out, turned the corner, walked down the hallway, found our room, opened the door, and saw the crib. Suddenly, we knew this was it. It was real.
to be continued..
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Posted by Susan at 8:13 AM