If you ever travel interior China on Shenzhen Airlines, particularly on an Airbus 320 ship #358 please avoid seat 16E. Larry here, and as Brooke’s ‘baba’ I seem to have become the favored person in Brooke’s life. Perhaps she’s just playing me to soften me up for the later years but my immediate role is now the keeper of her stroller, protector never to be out of her sight…and this includes our time together in seat 16D. Our flight to Guangzhou blocked out on schedule but we quickly realized we would stay in our seats prior to takeoff due to weather in Guangzhou. Now, an Airbus 320 seats approximately 150 passengers in the US…in China it seems the same aircraft seats approximately 250… making my shy of 6’ frame slightly crammed on a good day, very crammed with Brooke insisting on being on my lap. It’s probably best that I don’t speak Mandarin as the gentleman in 16D was certainly speaking during the flight and I just politely nodded at whatever it was he was telling me. That, of course, was prior to the meals being brought out with the sticky China rice, which pretty much brought the gentleman to not speaking to me, or perhaps anyone after the emotional scarring of what he witnessed for the next 3 hours. Prior to takeoff (during extensive ground delays), after takeoff and most of the descent consisted of Brooke consuming the rice, peas and some kind of potato chicken…we’re not talking ‘Minute Rice’…the rice over here is very good but can be used as adhesive for minor construction projects…again my warning about seat 16E.
|Saying good-bye to our guide at the airport...getting ready to board the flight to GZ!|
|Unaware of the rice disaster that was to come|
I remember one of our youth mission trips to Acapulco and while body surfing on the beach we found our swimsuits full of sand in every seam, stitch and cavity…we finally just disposed of the suits. Perhaps the same will be true for Shenzhen Airline’s aircraft #358, seat 16E as passengers months from now will be certain to find remnants of 11 May in their seat, seat pocket, window or anywhere they happen to look. The real irony of the story is my wife (the same woman who took our new found friend up the Great Wall in search of a restroom…see Day 2), took GREAT delight in this entire 3 hour event from the innocence of row 15…seats E and F…some rambling about due reward…etc. I have always wondered, but of course never tried, to see if a seat pocket will actually hold water…now I know...they don’t.
|Erica laughing at Baba's issues in the seat behind.|
|The wisely chosen seats :)|
The rest of the day was quite delightful, with the exception of the power wash following flight #9650. We enjoyed watching the girls recite nursery rhymes and we are grateful for New Day staff in how well they care and train the precious children. Brooke recites all her favorites with Erica several times during the day. We also enjoyed a quick Wal-Mart run prior to our departure. For those of you looking for the most practical, efficient shopping (my sister-in-law, Willow, once wrote a Christmas letter suggesting such efficiency), please visit the escalators in China’s Wal-Marts. You don’t step one foot while the magical carpet takes you past all your shopping essentials and the only exertion is reaching to the bins and maintaining balance…gotta love it.
|All your shopping necessities as you ride the magic escalator up and down|
|There's even a Merry-Go-Round!!|
|Watching the nursery rhymes DVD before bedtime- Erica taking good care of her baby sister!|
|Our sweet girls!|
|The rice escapade wore her out. Ha.|
Brooke’s personality is exploding to us as a sweet girl taking delight in every simple aspect of our day. Erica remains faithful as a young girl who suddenly seems so grown up to us and has graciously allowed her daddy to be Brooke’s ‘baba’. Tomorrow we head to the medical evaluation in Guangzhou and plan a stop at Papa John’s Pizza…need a day away from the trauma of the rice.
I’ll talk to you then…
Grateful to our Savior and thankful for your prayers….
Larry for all.