Jack's Little Mei Mei

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rural China Tour

The path to the village. Those are pig hairs lining the path!
Jack makes a friend in China!
A puff ball baby!
More friend for Jack. The 2 girls have massive lice and a crush on Jack!
A Chinese broom.
Inside a house. All sleep in the same bed.

First of all, I have good news. Jack found his wallet on our tour bus so he was not pick-pocketed! It doesn't make as good of a story, but restores our faith in mankind!

I said this before, but the Chinese people are so friendly and have been so kind to us. They are very curious about us and when we walk about EVERYONE stares at us. I just smile back and say hello in Chinese and they always smile back. You can feel the warmth in their hearts. They especially like Jack and many of the old women come up to him and rub his cheeks and touch his hair. Jack has been a good sport by giving them his sweet smile and a big "Ni Hao". They are also very curious about Lily. Our guide made us a tag in Chinese that explains about Lily. Once they read the tag they smile and give us a thumbs up. It makes me believe that many of the Chinese people, mostly rural, don't really know about the huge number of girls leaving the country.

Our guide told us a lot today about the "One Child Only-Family Planning Policy." Chinese people who live in cities are only allowed one child. The rural people are allowed 2 if their first child is a girl. The reason for this has to do with need for the work force in the farming areas. Because of the long tradition of the son taking care of the elders, the boys are preferred. Cindy and her husband will only have one child and she said they only want one child. It is too expensive to have more. She feels quite content with that and accepting of the policy.

Today we took the bus on an 1/2 hour drive to the countryside to see how the rural people live. This is how the majority of the Chinese people live according to our guide. She said this is the "real China". We walked a long pathway through a rice paddy to a cluster of about 15-20 attached brick houses. The people who live here work the fields. We saw mostly older women in their 60-80's, a few women my age and many children. We saw a few older men, but really no men. It reminded me a lot of Mexico. You can see from the photos. Their homes were very cold and dark with chickens running about and some pig pens in the back. Laundry was hanging everywhere. Jack found a really big pig! The children were quite dirty, but soooooo cute! Two twin girls, who looked like boys, followed us around. They were so giggly and very funny hiding behind each other. They are in the photos above. Their hair was filled with lice. Being a teacher I could tell it was lice. My hair itches just thinking about it! Anyway, they were all so curious about us and were happy to welcome us onto their street and into their homes. It was really an experience I will never forget. This village is probably very close to what Lily's village would have looked like if she had grown up in China.

Cindy told us that there was a survey in the Chinese Newspaper, could be propaganda, that questioned city dwellers and rural dwellers about their happiness. A much higher percentage of rural folk were said to be happier. In a way, I believe it. They seemed very happy and content.

I don't think we are "saving" Lily. I think she would have had a happy life living in China. I think living in the orphanage would have been a hard life, but if her parents were able to keep her, her life would have been happy. I think we are giving her many more opportunities with education and freedom as an American.

Jack was blown away from the tour and was very uncomfortable and scared at first. The older people had very brown teeth and some had no teeth. I do think it was a excellent lesson for him to see how others live. I told him to look for the toys, TV, and games when we were in the house. He was surprised that there weren't any. I hope this tour will make him a more compassionate human who can understand the beauty in the differences of people. Also, to appreciate the things he does have.

Lily is doing great. Took a long nap today and woke so happy. She is totally comfortable with Tim now and just loves her big brother. Jack just loves her too. He told Tim today that he loves Lily the most. They are so cute together. She watches his every move. She has a great sense of humor and just the perfect fit for our family.

We go to dinner with our group tonight and tomorrow off to the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, southern China. It should be in the 70's. I can't wait. It has been very cold and gray here. Our last leg is almost here. Soon Lily will be an American!

Thanks again for all the support and love and for following our Journey. We love you all and can't wait for you to meet Lily!


  • kraaaazy jack love bridget ho ho ho ho

    Very interesting. Great pictures! You did a great job capturing the spirit of the village and the people.
    Bridget was very happy that Jack has made some friends, but very concerned about the lice situation! And she was shocked that they don't have toys or TV's. It definitely brings a new perspective about how people live and what brings happiness.
    Love to you all, The Bergmans

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:29 AM  

  • What a wonderful little citizen off the world Jack is becomong!. I'll bet he will have a great show and tell when he gets back to school.
    How fun that he found his wallet.I wonder what little lesson is going through his head after that.
    You have done a great thing to share your love with this little one and are learning that this is how you get love in return. She's going to teach all of us a ferw things.
    I love all of you and am so proud of you.
    Love Papa and Suzi

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:58 AM  

  • What a life changing trip this is. Yes, I'll can imagine Jack's eyes have been opened. I am sure you are remembering how your life, opinions, attitudes etc. were changed after living in Spain. I really look forward to hearing Jack's version of this trip. This whole thing is so amazing and you have really brought us into this story.
    love mom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:30 AM  

  • I tried to send comments yesterday, but my computer or the server would not cooperate. I loved the picture of Lily's adorable smile yesterday. It was nice to see that she was becoming more comfortable and was definitely happy. Glad you found your wallet Jack! I thought you might have to use some of your Kung Fu moves on some bad guys to get it back. Tell your friends the Forkers, that their car is still safe and sound in my hotel parking lot. A little snow on it over the weekend but still safe. See you all soon.

    By Anonymous Peter, at 10:47 AM  

  • Thanks to you Lisa, we are all vicariously learning through you. Jack I am so glad you are making friends on your adventure. I am very proud of you. Hugs and kisses - Grammie

    By Blogger Grammie, at 4:30 PM  

  • Hello Watson Family!!
    WE love the updates!! Marshall loved the photo of Jack on the airplane!Lily is sooo adorable!
    The photos are so interesting..and make California look very beautiful!
    We have been going over almost everynight to play with Katie..Katie gets all excited when she sees Marshall!!
    We wish you a safe journey!!
    Sarah Mead

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:28 PM  

  • Hello Watsons!
    We'll see you all at the White Swan Hotel tomorrow. Maybe we can get a bite to eat at Lucy's. We really owe you guys some TsingTao beer for the baby wipes -- you're so thoughtful, Lisa! I'm glad to see that Jack found his wallet. Lily Lu has the best mom, dad and big brother! Also, if you're reading this thanks Peter for watching our car. I can't believe there is more snow! We'll really have to enjoy the warm temperatures of Guangzhou.

    By Blogger amy, at 5:28 AM  

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