Well, this could start to sound like a bit from the movie "Groundhog Day". We all awoke pretty early, some at 3:00, others at 5:00, some later yet and then we all proceeded downstairs for breakfast. For fun, we did watch a bit of the Brewers' game "live" on the web as we prepped for our day--funny what you can remain connected to from half-way-round-the-world. Some of us are growing addicted to table-tennis on the television, although soccer and women's volleyball are also fun because you at least know what is happening even if you cannot understand the play-by-play commentary. Our day moved pretty quickly from breakfast to loading onto the bus for our ride to the airport. The sky was a little lighter and clearer than Friday evening and yesterday, so it was nice to see more of the island and the bay and Hong Kong life. We moved pretty efficiently through the airport, passport checks, immigration, etc. and boarded our plane to Kunming. The flight was uneventful, lasting only about one and one half hours. We were met at the airport by another CCAI representative named Michael. He is actually not from Kunming, but flew in yesterday from another province just to help our seven person "group". Really fun person and very knowledgable about the area. As an aside, I always pronounced it "Coon ming" but it "Kwun ming" sounds more correct. Anyways, our fist question was "When?" and the answer was/is "9:00 a.m." We meet Michael and the registration official at 8:30am, drive to the registry office, and get to meet Luke at 9:00a.m. We think he has been at the orphanage for the last four or five days, with nannies, but no longer with foster parents. He apparently still takes a couple bottles of formula per day, but is otherwise on solid food. Michael also was kind enough to put together a care package of the formula Luke is used to, as well as a few snacks he likes. I was quite pleased to see that one of the snacks looks almost exactly like a Moon Pie. Get that young man an RC and we will Southernify him in nothing flat. No word on whether or not he is walking. Once we have him, we will complete all formal paperwork by noon on Monday. Apparently, this is faster/different than other areas, and means our schedule for remainder of the week is completely open as compared to what other groups may experience. Please pray for a great first meeting and time of transition and bonding.
The picture above is at a very nice Japanese restaurant in our very nice Chinese hotel. Most of the humor of the day was generated by the collision of two factors. Fewer people in Kunming speak English and we were trying to use Chinese words. I am still not certain we have gotten "thank you" down pat. I have heard us say "see see" and "she she" and "si si" and "shay shay"and "say say" and variants I cannot capture. But, everyone is trying, having fun, and trying to connect. In the local dialect, which Luke will apparently know a bit of, "Love you" is "Eye knee". Some suggest that he may key off our emotions when we meet. So, I will probably just run the video camera so he is not confused by the blubbering fool with short hair. Yes, this child will know me as "the rock". We are obviously very excited, although once again, I am awake and everyone else is in bed. Lots of pictures tomorrow, so be ready.
We "eye knee",
P.S. I was supposed to tell some of you the Petunia bag has been a big hit.