Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Wheel, A Tower, and Other Stuff

We woke, pigged out on that wonderful breakfast at our hotel again, and met our group in the lobby.  The refrigerator in the room works about as well as a plain old cardboard box would, but fortunately there are several tiny stores just outside the entrance of the Galactic Peace Hotel that sell cold drinks.  Adam grabbed several, put them in the backpack, and we boarded the bus.

A few days ago, on the way to our hotel from the airport, we passed a gigantic ferris wheel.  William, our guide, informed us that it was the largest one of its kind in all of Asia.  This morning, he surprised us and said that he would be taking us back to it for a ride!  It was awesome!  The view from the top of the wheel was amazing, and beautiful.  Although a great deal of Nanchang is poor, the city is trying to improve….through new bridges, parks, roads, and even a new subway system to help get a handle on the traffic.

Sweaty, we jumped back on the bus, and made a short trip to the Tengwang Pagoda.  This tower has a great deal of significance for the people of Nanchang, and has been built and rebuilt many times over the past 1500 years.  Our guide said that much of the architecture in the tower is so important that it is protected.  That is, it is not allowed to be copied on any other buildings.  It it nine stories tall, and we used the same method to get to the top that they did over a century ago…..stairs.  At the top, we watched a short singing performance, and stopped at each floor on the way down to explore the historical things on display.  The gardens outside the pagoda were filled with many smaller buildings, all built to resemble the main tower, and dozens of statues.  It was quite a contrast to see the century old style buildings against the backdrop of a huge modern city.

Back at the hotel, we rested.  Chrissy walked into the bathroom to get something and Zoe jumped up from her pile of books, crayons, and toys, and ran in after her.  She pointed to the tub.  She loves her baths!  For the next hour, Chrissy sat on the floor, Zoe sat in the tub, and both laughed and played.  Kai and his parents came over from next door and all played Uno.  Later, the kids all went to Kai's room to play Minecraft.

After some much needed downtime, we ventured out into the heat again to find RT Mart.  It was much closer than our journey to Walmart, and was actually a really nice store.  We all thought that it kind of looks like Nanchang's version of Target!  Zoe got some new shoes, Sofi some books, and the rest of us got laundry soap and something that resembles Pringles.  There were dozens of varieties of   dried fish and other sea creatures…..to many to choose from!

We had dinner at the hotel in a private room with Gongzhan, the head of Gladney's Asian adoption program.  He is also the man responsible for putting together all of our in country travel, arranging guides, and orchestrating the paperwork trail.  We had some delicious dishes….a couple not so delicious….and great conversation with Gongzhan and the other two families with us.


  1. Chrissy and Adam, thank you for the detailed updates. It has been such a joy following the trip from home! These daily posts are by far the best bed time stories! I get a new adventure to read about each night before getting a good night's sleep.. I love it! Thinking of you all and miss you much! -Emily

  2. Ditto to Emily's post...except I read them first thing in the morning for my daily warm heart time and a smile. Love you all so much...what a blessing you are to so many!