Monday, March 10, 2014

Visiting a Buddhist temple and a local street market.

Yesterday morning we visited the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a local Buddhist temple. There are nine giant golden Buddhas scattered throughout the temple grounds. We witnessed a prayer session led by the monks, and observed many people lighting incense and praying to the statues. It was all very interesting. Later we went over our Consulate paperwork with our guide, Elvin, in preparation for our appointment at the embassy Tuesday morning. We ate at a local noodle/wonton place and ventured back to the mall/grocery for some sushi to have with our leftovers tonight.

MJ was a bit of a challenge today, as we had several melt-downs while out and about. She might be a beautiful 5 year old little girl, but she is acting more like a toddler when we're out and about. She probably hasn't had the opportunity to learn and develop the social skills needed to handle herself properly when dining out or shopping; she's prone to running away from us when she sees something she wants, and if you tell her no, she will scream and go limp when we try to pull her away from something. The language barrier only compounds the problem as we cannot effectively communicate what we would like her to do. We love her, but it is exhausting! Adopting a 5yo is not for the faint of heart. Hopefully things will get better as we learn to communicate better, and when we get home to some consistency and develop a good routine.


Today we took a long walk through a street market selling all manner of medicinal and culinary herbs and dried and fresh animals and parts; think deer bones, dried seahorses, live scorpions, etc. block after block were filled with huge sacks of ginsing, goji berries, ginger, rose and chrysanthemum flowers, and all manner of exotic items used in TCM: traditional Chinese medicine. It was a pretty impressive display. We then moved into a block of pet birds, kittens, puppies, turtles, and lots and lots of tropical fish. It was a lot of fun walking through this area, and we wish we had room in our luggage to buy more. A bit later, we wandered into a pearl market. We found a shop where we purchased some loose pearls and had a necklace and bracelet made for MJ and Leslie. We also purchased a few Chinese toy drums as gifts for some of Manu's friends (you're welcome in advance!)

After the market we had to come back to the room and wait for a possible telephone call from Elvin, in case MJ failed her TB test and had to go back to the hospital for a chest x-ray. Thankfully that call didn't come, and around 4pm we headed out for a little more shopping. We picked up some sushi, fried chicken, and wienies for dinner tonight. We're eating in the room, as it seems to be better for our bonding with MJ, and there are fewer distractions. We're also getting a bit tired of dining out for every meal.

We had our share of intense moments with MJ again today, but we also had wonderful moments when it's obvious that she's starting to consider herself a part of our family. Last night, for the first time, she crawled into our bed and slept with us. Until now, she has insisted on sleeping on the roll-away, and wouldn't even consider laying down with us. She also seems more interested in trying to make us understand what she's saying, rather than pouting when we don't. She is playing more with Manu, even plotting little ways to scare daddy when he isn't looking! She's a very brave little girl for enduring all of this change, and we're very proud of how far she has come in the one short week we've been together.

Now for a few more pictures!

The Lotus Pagoda

Burning incense sticks.   

Sign on the Lotus Pagoda.

Monk bringing a rice offering to the Buddha. 

Past, present, and future Buddhas.

Monk leading prayer.


More M&M. 

Female Buddha. 

Bags of medicinal items.

Scorpions: Good for what ails you!

A typical shop on the street.

A view of the street.



Another cute photo from the orphanage!

1 comment:

  1. Jeff, I hope these questions are intrusive, I'm just curious. Did you and Leslie have to teach English as a second language to Manu? I'm not sure how old he was when you all came together as a family. Will is be possible or do you even desire to have MJ retain her knowledge of Mandarin? I found myself thinking of the journey your family will share over the next several months as you all learn to speak a common language and these questions came to mind.