Day 7: Pandas!!

Today we splurged and went to the safari park which is in Guangzhou.  Several families decided to go and so our guide arranged a bus for us.  Even better, a virtual friend who is also in Guangzhou adopting her daughter was able to go with us, so now she is a real-life friend.

The weather here in Guangzhou is very humid and warm.  It felt like summer to us and was probably 80 degrees.  There was a chance of rain, but we were thankful it never showed up.  We had a lovely time wandering around and looking at the animals.  Here I am with H. looking at something... I can't tell what.

It's a pretty nice zoo and for the most part looks like a zoo you would find in the US.  But every so often we would come across something to remind us where we were.  Take this trash can for instance.  They were everywhere and I just don't recall seeing something like it before.

We also had many chances to get close to the animals.  Here we are feeding some birds.  You put some sunflower seeds in your hand, hold it out, and the birds land on you and eat the seeds.

H. fed the birds as well, we just don't have a picture.

There are also several shows you can go to and we managed to catch one.  It was a monkey show and was oddly baffling.  Once again, it seemed to tell a story which we couldn't really comprehend, but my guess was that it was about things that happen in a small Chinese village.  The only difference is that the village is populated by monkeys, real ones and humans dressed up to like them.  Here is a chimp sweeping his little house.  There were various scenes which happened and then suddenly a monkey was pushing a bunch of pigs down a slide which they slid down and then landed in a moat below.  The pigs then swam to a ramp, ran up onto the stage and into a pen, at which point the monkey shut them in.  I don't know why.

A., TM, and H. also fed a giraffe.  They were selling branches which you then hold up to the giraffe who very efficiently strips the leaves off and moves on.

We realized our time was running short, so we then headed to the pandas!

They really are as cute in person as they are in photos.  When we Skyped with our family this evening, G. really wanted to know if we brought one home and was a bit disappointed, I think, to find out we hadn't.  Since I don't have a real panda to show you, you'll have to make due with pictures.  There were several enclosures, each with several pandas.  We took a few photos.

I have more if you want to see them.

At the end of the exhibit were some red pandas. I have never thought them overly cute in photographs, but I have to say, they are pretty darn cute in person.  See?

What this picture doesn't show is that the tree had several other red pandas draped over it.  I have a new appreciation for the little guys.

The last thing we did was to take the safari tram.  Unlike zoo trams in the states, where you ride around and see the animals in their enclosures, here they have employees stationed with food to be sure the animals (at least the big, impressive ones) do something interesting.  For example, when we rode by the brown bears, a zoo employee would hold up a treat to get the bear to stand up and then throw it to him.

I think H. enjoyed the day, but as the day heated up and we continued to walk around (the park is fairly extensive), she became less and less enthusiastic.  She kept telling me she was hot and tired (yes, she knows those words in English now), and I pretty much had to hold her hand and keep pulling her along to make it to the exit.  I'm sure at that point she was wondering how on earth she had ended up with these crazy people and are we going to do this often.  She was so tired, she fell asleep on my shoulder during the tram ride and then again on the bus home.

She did recover after a rest in the cool hotel room.  After dinner, we headed to the pool and she even agreed to put on her swimming suit and sit on the edge of the pool with me.  It was fun to watch her play in the water with her hands.  She loved finding out that she could make bubbles and just watching her experiment makes me think that just being able to play in water is a fairly novel experience for her.  At one point, she even leaned over and tried to put her face in.  I bet by the end of the week she will be completely in the pool.


Anonymous said…
How cute. I can just picture her sitting by the pool and watching her brother and sister enjoy it. This time she agrees to wear a suit and sit closer. Precious.

The panda look great. I am so glad you could see so many.

I'm so glad you can relax by the pool after the walking, warmth and emotional and physical efforts put forth in switching hotel, doing leg work for paper work and all the other activities that will soon be in the past.

Way to go J on all the patience, love and support to show your family.

Hugs to all, EL
Ann said…
Great pictures of the safari! We loved it! And you guys are getting some warm weather! Yeah! We were never able to use the pool because it was too cold. Hey! In an ironic twist of events--guess where we spent the night last night??? CHICAGO!!! I'll blog about our trip home--CAAARRAZZY!! Missed our flight out of Beijing due to fog and had to take the LONG road home! Have a wonderful trip! So sorry we didn't get to see each other!
thecurryseven said…
Nooooooo! That's so not fair. You are not allowed to be in Chicago when I'm not there. :-)

I'm so glad you made it home safely. I'm sure your children were overjoyed to see you all.

Shonya said…
Thank you for continuing to share (both the joyful and the um, frustrating!) as H joins your family. We continue to remember you and yours in prayer.
Jennifer said…
Wow! Those are great shots of the pandas! As for the question about H's vision, if you need a recommendation for an ophthalmologist when you get home, send me an e-mail or give me a call. I really like Doug's guy, who is right in Evanston. He's great with kids.

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