Sep 14

A little perspective before leaving Jiangxi province.

Category: In China

Today was a great day, and one that gave all of us adoptive parents a glimpse of what life may have been like for our little ones had they not been abandoned at birth. Our CCAI Reps (Evelyn and Sisi) took us into the “countryside” today to show us what life looks like when you are a poor farming family. Now, I have to say, this was not done to make us all feel like heels for having the fortunate lives we have. Nor was it done to embarrass the locals we visited. It was simply a quick trip to help all of us gain some perspective of what the community these little girls came from is like. No humble pie was served, but a small sobering reality definitely took hold for a few of us I suspect.

Being somewhat close to Nanchang, we were not nearly as remote as the 2.5 hr away location that our children came from is. And maybe that was the sobering part. These farmers are sustenance farmers, not poor, like Darfur poor, just that they get by on what they can farm and sell, and that is about it. There are no televisions, no air conditioning (and its Africa hot) many domiciles have no windows, no pavement and not all have power or running water and there is absolutely no plumbing. But there are some wonderful things they do have. They have incredible smiles, and a very strong sense of “place”. Like the other Chinese locales Kelly and I have visited on this trip, family and ones responsibility to that institution are paramount in their daily lives.Yes, family definitely comes first. There is also a strong sense of community in these settings. We could only observe a few homes with running water yet many people were helping their neighbors by sharing theirs and also helping with their neighbors “chores”. People helping do laundry, collect rice, and harvest vegetables were just some of the “job sharing” things we encountered. We also observed most of the younger men (and women) helping to build a brick house on the outskirts of the village. We were told that if one is born into this situation, it is extremely rare to have your family find a way out for you. Most of the people who are from a village like this who are between the ages of 18-25 have gone to the cities (Nanchang being closest) in search of better paying work, and then send their paychecks home to help support their families (sound familiar???). So, while we will never know exactly what these girls lives may have been like had our paths not crossed, we can be assured that it would have been challenging, and that to us, they bring a generational history of family responsibility and fortitude that will serve them well as they grow and mature with us. In this vein we are all richly served.

Tomorrow we leave in the afternoon (5:30 pm local) for Guangzhou and the second portion of the trip before departing for home on the 21st. I am really looking forward to Guangzhou, as it is home to one of the worlds best, and most famous open air markets. The Qing Ping market in Guangzhou is known for its wild and rare finds of produce, flowers, fish and meats and spices. A number of “live’ items can be found here as well, insects, reptiles, and birds to name a few. The really cool thing for me is that it is located very close to our hotel in Guangzhou. I will be in my element I am sure. Guangzhou was once known as Canton, and is the home to Cantonese style cooking. It is said in China; “If it fly’s, crawls, or swims, the Cantonese will eat it”.┬á Yes, I will most definitely be in my element.

A little post script on the post from last night……I had to finish the post as our little girl had her first (of what will be many, I am sure) “meltdown”, and Mom had to step in, relieve dad, and save the day/night. We are teething just now and we are fairly confident thats what it was. So good night, and goodbye from Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, PRC.

See you in Guangzhou!

Kurt

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