Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Our LSC was supposed to get dropped off at the Chinese consulate in Guangzhou on Tuesday but a white powder was opened in the offices and the consulate will be closed for the entire week. No consulate appointments for those families currently with their children in China and no drop-off and pick-up of Article 5's. It's a delay for us, but hopefully only a week delay. We are thinking of those families who will be in China an extra week as they wait for their child(ren)s visa approval.

I've been trying to learn more about Emma Claire's province and where we will be traveling (hopefully soon). Our agency has been in contact with us about travel---more paperwork and I have completed our applications for our Chinese visas. Hey, it's progress!!!

Emma Claire is in Heilongjiang Province, which is the most northeastern part of China. Mongolia is to the west and Siberian Russia to the north.

We have been able to get information on sights to see from the Heilongjiang adoptive parents FB group but I searched on the internet to find some videos and travel films about Harbin and Heilongjiang Province.

I managed to find a free, instant watch video made in China about Heilongjiang on Ama*zon. It's subtitled and you have to follow along pretty quickly. Matt and I watched it together and its pretty funny, though I don't think it is meant to be funny at all. They spend a lot of time at the Siberian Tiger Reserve showing how the tigers get fed live rabbits and chickens. Other than that, we learned Harbin floods and it is cold (already knew that one). We did get to see some of the city not covered in ice and snow.

The next video we watched was from No Reservations with Anthony Bour*dain. We enjoyed this one a lot. I don't think we will be showing it to Emma Claire EVER, but it was an entertaining look at Harbin and Heilongjiang from the eyes of a foodie and an American and ever brutally honest as Bourd*ain can be. There are a few other videos we want to watch, one from the local government and another from National Geo*graphic.

Both American travel shows went to Harbin during the winter and for the ice festival for which it is famous. We won't be there then, which I think may be good because both shows used the same description--that it is so cold that you feel like your skin is peeling off. We should be there when it is in the 60s, not -25!!

I also discovered that Lisa,  who does my nails was born in Heilongjiang! Small world. She hasn't been back for many years as she emigrated to Korea and then to the U.S., but she is going to make Matt and I some note cards that we can use as "cheat sheets" in the restaurants and out an about. While I am a fairly adventurous eater, I do want to know what I am eating and it's our understanding that we will not have a guide who accompanies us and stays nearby. Lisa told me that while many of the tourist signs will be in English, Mandarin & Russian, the menus will only be in Mandarin. We will have a guide, but she is used for the adoption-related meetings only and we will have a lot of time to explore Harbin on our own.

1 comment

growing our love... said...

I was so happy to find your blog. Congratulations on all of your milestones. We are a family in the middle of this delay as well. Our Article 5 was dropped off on May 7. It is hard to believe that someone would do this. Hoping things start moving next week.