Sep 20

Zaijian Zhongguo (for now)

Category: In China

Well, the time for the return trip home has come. We spent today kind of leisurely walking around the Qing Ping while knocking out a few errands, and generally savoring our last hours here in China. It has been a wonderful trip. I think both Kelly and myself have found a new “gear” to go to, and the motivation for that is our Madison. I would also like to share some thoughts about what we have learned and experienced while being in this wonderful country. First and foremost, the Chinese people are very warm and inviting. I think that simplicity and all that it entails is a quality that most people here cling to, and in some fashions, guides their daily lives. We never once encountered anyone or any situation that ever felt awkward, unsafe or uninviting. Originally, we thought that this trip and its responsibilities would not allow for us to truly get a glimpse of what these people and this country are like. Could not have been more incorrect. Of course we are eager to come home, and show off this great gift, but at the same time, we know we will return someday, maybe sooner than not..:) I think China is a country of people whose heritage is amazing and complex. At the same time, the future appears to be now, and change is happening here at a tremendous speed. Before I came here, I thought that the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing were not only a chance of course for world class athletes to come and test themselves against the best that the world has to offer. But also an opportunity for China (as a government) to show everyone, on the biggest stage of them all, just how far they have come in technology, and economy. I now know that my take on this may be incorrect. I now feel that the government is also using these games as a motivational tool for their own people, as a way to say “look how far we as a people have come, and look what we are capable of” . Sounds maybe a bit cliche’ but if you get out into this culture a bit, its definitely something you can see and feel. It is visceral.

The language is beautiful, and I now can differentiate between Cantonese, and Mandarin. Not that I know whats being said, I’m just saying…………We have some fond memories of our ear for “Chinglish” most often spoken by some of our guides, (they’re English is better than my Chinese!) For example, in Beijing, our guide Lisa said what I thought to be “In Asian times” and was really Ancient times. She also would say what sounded like “where is your doctor from?”, she was saying “daughter”. This would often lead to some humorous exchanges, but we adapted and learned to try to speak Mandarin when we could, the exceptions being Hong Kong and Guangzhou where Cantonese is more prevalent. There, we just gave it our best.

Kelly and I, well, thats an area that I think has had some tremendous change as well. We came here not really knowing what to expect as new parents. This was obviously going to be different than having a child naturally, but in many ways we fell that these challenges were or are maybe as hard and complex. I kind of think I had my own “Grinch” moment on “Gotcha Day” ( “………..it grew ten times that day”) . Parenting, is extremely rewarding, just watching her explore and learn is so amazing. So much more to come. She is crawling now, and was not when we got her, change seems to happen every day in front of our eyes, she is constantly teaching us as well. In many ways,this truly feels like something that was always meant to be.

My wife is amazing as well. I cannot truly express how beautiful it is to see her and Madison interact with one another. Kelly has so much love to give this little girl, and Madison, while also giving it back in spades, laps it all up. Kelly taught me how to unselfishly open up and grow when we met, now she has done it again. I am forever grateful.

So its time to go, there is plenty more that could be said, and we will have much to share with all of you when we complete the trip back to Denver. Thank you for your supportive comments on the posts, its nice to hear that these posts have not been too boring. In some ways, it has been very therapeutic to put these in every night, so thanks for indulging me, and all of your thoughts, prayers and good wishes are appreciated.

Love to all of you!!

Kurt, Kelly and Madison.

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