Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lifestyles of the waiting family...

Today we took a long walk to the Tran Quac Pagoda. But when we got there, the gates were closed so we could not go in. But we saw some interesting sights along the way.

First, we passed the One Pillar Pagoda. It is next to the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Here's the little rascal catching a cat nap along the way.

This sign struck us funny for some reason.
Here's the world's tiniest car (that I've ever seen).

We found a beer garden along a shady street next to a really nice park.
These must be two of the kegs.

These trees with the red flowers are in bloom everywhere. I don't know what they are called.
The purple flower tree behind it is also quite lovely. These can get very large, too.

That was our morning. Then we walked back to the hotel. Maya had a snack of mangosteen and
then I put her down for a nap. She often takes a 2-3 hour nap in the late afternoon. That's when I get caught up on my blogging. What is Matt doing? He reads or plays Scrabble on his Palm Pilot and stands by for technical assistance if I run into computer problems. While walking he is our sherpa, choosing the back pack sweat sack as opposed to the baby carrier sweat sack. At least the back pack does not generate it's own heat. Maya often reaches for him, so he ends up carrying her too.

I thought she would cry after he got his head shaved yesterday but it didn't seem to phase her at all. Today she freaked out when we tried to take a picture of a DEAD butterfly on the ground. She is afraid of anything that moves, or even used to move. She is afraid of cats, dogs, birds and bugs. When we were inside the caves at Ha Long Bay, our tour guide had one of those lights for pointing at things. It pointed it on her feet and she screamed her head off. Then she tried to wipe her feet off.

We never know when she will allow strangers to hold her. Sometimes she lets complete strangers pick her up and other times she cries or turns away. We went back to Quan Am Ngon last night and Ling was there but Maya would not go to her. We were not in Ling's section so she could not hover over Maya like last time. Every morning the staff at our new hotel try to entertain her so we can eat breakfast but she won't leave us. I guess that's a good thing.

Today we met another family at the One Pillar Pagoda who was picking up their 15 month old. (They have a 2 1/2 year old girl from China). They are with a different agency and their process in Vietnam took 7 days from the time they picked up their baby until they got the visa. They were at the same hotel as the Curry family but moved downtown because they have already been to the clinic twice for IV antibiotics and fluids for their new baby.

We ran into the Curry family on our walk today. They were headed to a Highlands Coffee on a boat on West Lake. They are staying at an apartment type hotel in the West Lake District, a 10 minute taxi ride from downtown Hanoi. They have been very tempted to move to our side of town but the lure of the swimming pool is too strong. If we were traveling with our kids we would be at the Somerset West Lake, too.
Tomorrow morning we go to the police department to pick up Maya's Vietnamese passport, then she has an appointment for a health check. A few days later we go to the American Embassy for our Visa Interview (to take Maya out of the country).

Yesterday I tried three times to upload a 3 second video of Maya signing. My third attempt was processing all night (the three times combined took about 18 hours). I'm going to try one more time and if it doesn't work, you'll just have to take my word for it.


Ann said...

It is so much fun to follow your blog! We have similar cars in the PNW--probably because there are so many people here who have "gone green." I don't think I could fit my 8 kids in one tho ;-)

Perhaps the other family got their visa so quickly because their baby has been so sick. Remember Anne? Nicholas was sick and they were in and out in less than a week!

Keep up the posts! It is so much fun reliving the adventure--this time from the comfort of my home

Kelshel said...

Are you teaching her sign language or did she already know some? Of course you would end up with the smart child! When do you expect to be back to Alaska? Will you be in Seattle at all?
Irene, she's absolutely gorgeous!

Kelshel said...

oh yah, I know someone with that small car!