With this being our fifth adoption trip to China, it was the fifth time we've visited the city of Guangzhou. Four previous visits gave us the advantage of feeling as though we were on familiar ground, but also the disadvantage of feeling like we'd seen the "big sites" before.
So this time we decided to try and schedule a visit somewhere new to us...New Day South. Initially, realizing it would be nearly a two hour van ride nearly made us change our minds, but we considered how close it was compared to the distance from home and decided to make the trip. Thankfully,
our driver had a very comfortable van and after we left the traffic of the city, we sat back and watched the lush countryside dotted with fish farms and banana trees roll by.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Doug, the director, and his family as well as Anneli, who is currently serving as the preschool teacher for NDS. Twelve year old Sarah effortlessly entertained our crew in her room so that we adults could chat about the facility and what it is like to live as an American in China.
Then it was time to take the our tour. So much fun to see the personalities that go with the adorable pictures from the New Day blog and NDS Facebook page come to life! We didn't interact much with most of the kids, more watching them play with their nannies and each other, except for one little guy who loves the camera. It was quite fun to talk with him as we are friends with his family. It will be fun to see if he recognizes us the first time we get together with them after he is adopted.
After observing both the preschool age apartment downstairs (busy and lively) and the baby apartment upstairs (quieter and more serene), seeing the bedrooms and the preschool, it was time for the children to eat.
And so we also went to enjoy a meal with our friends before it was time to ride back to the Garden Hotel. Sarah showed her ability to hold down a table of youngsters while we adults enjoyed a time of fellowship over hand pulled noodles (oh my word. DELICIOUS!).