I had decided not to partake in the touring of the silk market with the group. I wanted to sleep in and stay relaxed before we had to head to the airport. Plus, we still had to finish packing. Four suitcases were a lot and all four were packed full!
We were able to say goodbye to the group before they left for the market and we had a leisurely breakfast with our newfound friends from Minnesota. We truly hit it off and had some great laughs and moments together!
With the whole mess up with the first day no shuttle show, we were able to get to the airport via the tour company with Forest. We chatted about how America is compared to China. Forest was surprised with how much house one could get in America as compared to China. He's really a great guy and I wish him well with his little family.
Once at the airport, the 'fun' began. To get to the ticket counter, one must show a passport. Before going into the security line, one must show passport (the norm), prior to getting to the metal detector, one must show a passport. And only one person at a time can load/unload onto the conveyor belt. This process was EXTREMELY SLOW!! It was a good thing we were at the airport more than two hours ahead!
Once thru the metal detector, no matter what, one is wanded. My portable charger for my phone was picked out and was questioned. After I picked up my belongings, my portable charger was brought to another desk area and was inspected. I was then told I could not take it with me because there was not a bar code on it to identify it. If I wanted it back, and if I were to return to China within 30 days, I could get it back. Seriously? All I could think of was that this thing was MADE IN CHINA! I didn't want to fight over the thing and just let them keep it. Stupid. But it was a very nice charger!
Once in the sky lounge, I realize I had the actual box that the portable charger came in with me the whole time. The bar code is on the box! Oh well...quite the experience. My hubby's charger wasn't questioned tho!
Since we spent the majority of our time in the security line, we really didn't have too much time to sit around, just enough to catch our second wind prior to the long flight home.
Because I had asked my hubby to join me on this trip to China, I told him I would book him in business class to and from, so I was able to fly business class home with him! I was like a kid in the candy store since I had never flown in business class on an international flight. I had no clue how to do anything in the seat. But I soon figured it out and got nice and cozy with the fluffy pillow and comforter and settled in to watch movies. It was so nice to be able to put my feet up and then to lay down flat to sleep. I didn't sleep well, but at least I was comfortable!
After our second flight home, we only had one piece of luggage not show up. We thought it was weird since all of our luggage was tagged priority and it didn't show up. But in the big scheme of things, it was so nice to be home!!
When I think back on this trip, it really makes me even more determined to be the voice for the children that don't have a voice. I know there are other advocates for these children, but some of them I don't feel like they are on the side of the children, just on the side of keeping the children in country. How many times have these advocates gone to different countries and played with these kids and seen their eyes follow your every move, and come up to you with their arms open as the sign of 'pick me up' and just love me for this moment. How many of these advocates brought candy and toys, clothing, medicine, needed items that are so expensive in country to import? I'm not saying I'm better than others, I'm just saying for myself, voicing my opinions and know that when I speak, I talk the talk and walk the walk. I go to Korea yearly, sometimes twice a year and always bring donations and buy donations when I'm there. I also support the single mothers so that they may have the opportunity to raise their children if they so choose. I'm not there to tell these mothers what to do, I would never do that.
When I see these babies and children, I see myself. I can see why on my papers at the age of 4 1/2 years old that I was labeled as selfish. What kid wouldn't be selfish in an orphanage? Nothing is your own, you have to share everything! The one prevalent thing I see tho is that these kids love the attention we give them when we are there to play with them. I have gotten worn out just playing with them. This is what matters, that these kids be given a chance to have a family that will pour love and attention onto them! What happens to these children in orphanages when they are moved from orphanage to orphanage because of age and then when they turn 18 and age out of the orphanage, they are put out on the street. Now they are truly orphans because they have no one to look after them at all. Finding a job, let alone a home is difficult. Why does this happen this way? It shouldn't happen this way, so unfair to the children I have seen and played with.
I know I can't save the world, I'm not trying to do that, but I can go to sleep at night knowing I have and continue to do what I can to help the children, the mothers, the staff. It does take a village.