Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Tough Day in Beijing

Yesterday was a bit low key. Jacob and Aaron don't feel well, and most of the children are ill with respiratory infections. So, Chris and I were able to hang out with the kids who aren't at the hospital receiving antibiotics. It was a great time. Most of the time, the home feels like a wonderful daycare. There is one nanny (I believe they have three shifts) assigned to three babies so they grow very attached to their "mom." And there is alot of structure with napping and sleeping and playtime and eating all at the same time every day. Unfortunately when the kids are ill, it becomes more obvious that they are orphans. There isn't any way for the Nannys to hold and comfort every child that doesn't feel well. It really is sad to see the babies cope on their own. They don't really know the difference, and they don't fuss and cry like an American baby would. But, I know the difference.

Today was somewhat difficult for me. I felt very powerless in the face of all the suffering around me. After lunch, we were walking back to the apartment when I spotted a very small puppy roaming right by the highway. Dogs mostly roam free here and a good deal of them don't appear to have an owner. This little thing broke my heart. He was searching through the trash piles near the road (of which there are many) for scraps. He was really cute, if I were at home, he'd be my new pet. I would never leave a puppy by a highway, but here I am unable to do anything other than feed the ones I see when I have food.

On a lighter note, for dinner, Carrie, Chris and I ventured to the village for street food. We bought sweet bread and salty bread, pears, oranges, and chicken on a stick. The chicken is pounded flat, fried, and then sprinkled with seasonings. I detected cumin and star anise. Yummy!

Today we are going to hang out with the kids some more and hopefully eat hotpot tonight for dinner. It snowed last night so we'll be walking in a couple inches to the home. Maybe it will have cleared up some of the pollution in the air.

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