***Hi! Would you like a heart attack? Then read this email from Mom:
|Guangzhou: the city population is 14 million and the urban area is 20.1 million. It is the 3rd largest city in China and 7th in the world.|
We were waiting in the lobby for the other families who were going with us on the subway to Shamian Island when John, the Holt representative, said he could not go with us. He had to take one family to the medical clinic. Someone did not pass the TB test. If he did not pass the x-ray test that day, then he would go to the clinic for three days of sputum tests. If he failed those, he would not get a visa and could not go to the U.S. until he finished eight weeks of treatment. We were all worried for this family.
It was Samuel.
They went to the clinic while we went on to Shamian Island to meet up later. It was hard to not know what was happening. Allie was brave.
One of our group has cell service so she got the call. Samuel passed.
We joined up, ate lunch together, walked around, and shopped. A taxi home and you are now up to date.
The day was beautiful. No rain. Drinks in an hour.
We may be able to leave Guangzhou Thursday afternoon so can have an extra day in Hong Kong. I am working on it.
I'll leave you on a less stressful note from Dad. I received this one BEFORE Mom's email, and it includes some notes on what in the world Shamian Island is:
The other Holt families are terrific people, very enjoyable and outgoing. A fun group to be with, as we experienced the last time. They are the kind of people you want to be friends with, or live next door to. Several have adopted multiple children, so this is not their first rodeo although for several it is their first time to China. Watching them learning how to take care of their beautiful children is touching. What a privilege to get to tag along in this personal, intimate experience.
After a swim, we went to the mall, which was packed. We shopped around a bit and needed to get back to the hotel for dinner. While it had been raining pretty good when we arrived, by now it was monsoon-like as the remnants of the typhoon passed over. Hailing a cab was challenging. I finally stood outside in the sheeting rain and got one.
Later this morning, we are going to Shamian Island. Shamian Island is in the Pearl River but separated from the shore by a very narrow water course. It is where the original Western settlements were located beginning in the 1700s (I think) when Canton (Guangzhou's other name) was the place where trading with China was centered. It continued being the nexus for Western countries until into the 20th century, and there is an old US consulate there, among others. It is a quiet, shady, very green area.Well. I didn't think I would have any updates for awhile... I was wrong! Anyway, I am SO GLAD all is well now. Hopefully there will be no more curveballs and they will be able to arrive home on time next Sunday night. I'll keep you posted!