After we took this picture, we loaded up on our bus for some morning sightseeing and shopping. We visited the Chen Family Temple, aka the Guangdong Folk Art Museum. The Chen family was and is a huge, prominent family in China, whose temple was eventually bought out from the government. It has beautiful gardens and amazing hand-carved architecture. Within the temple, there are some amazing art forms.
|All hand-carved architecture|
There was a man hand-painting beautiful pictures of Chinese landmarks. He was using black ink and only his hands, fingers, and fingernails. Here's a picture of a quick demonstration he did for us. We bought a more elaborate one of The Great Wall that we plan to hang in our home. Amazing and ancient form of artwork.
We also bought "chops" for each of our 4 children. Chops are wooden, hand-carved stamps. Each of their names are carved in Chinese and in English and we are given stamp ink to go with them. Part of the carving is an animal that represents each of the years they were born. For example, Brady is the year of the rooster so his chop has a rooster carved on the top. Emily was born in the year of the dragon. It's very unique and common in China. Another beautiful piece of Chinese culture.
Another unique Chinese art form that we got to experience is the scrolls of calligraphy. These are beautifully painted scrolls and the artist writes your name or whatever you want on it in Chinese. We purchased one scroll for Emily's room with her Chinese name (Gao Yu) written on it. Her chop actually says Emily Hope in Chinese and English.
We returned to the hotel and walked a short distance to eat Chinese for lunch. Emily is taking a nap right now and the boys are downstairs in the swimming pool. Tomorrow morning we go to the Guangzhou zoo. It should be interesting as Emily has never seen any of these animals. She is enthralled by the coy fish at our hotel. I am particularly excited to see the panda bears. :)
Our consulate appointment, with the US Embassy, is scheduled for Wednesday, the 9th. We will get Emily's visa at this appointment so that she is able to enter the U.S. This is the last step before we are able to come home! We do have to wait a day before we can leave, just in case any paperwork gets messed up and we need to be available. On Thursday evening we are taking a train to Hong Kong where we will stay in the airport hotel there. Friday we wake up to begin our return home!!!
Many people have asked about possibly greeting us at the airport upon our return. We want everyone to know that you are completely welcome to greet us when we arrive. We do not expect anyone to drive to New Orleans to see us for 5 minutes but for those who have asked, you are certainly welcome. I know my parents will be there as well as a couple other friends for sure. If you are interested, please contact my friend who has our return flight home (I don't want to post that information publicly). Her email address is Jalgray@yahoo.com. It is fine to greet Emily and speak to her. We simply ask that no one try to hold her or give her anything when you see her. Thanks for your love and support, friends! We can't wait to come home once and for all... or at least until God convicts our hearts again! Ha!