Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Old Person's Olympics

Makaria and I are in Guangzhou, taking care of her visa stuff. I'll try and keep this positive and light, which is a contrast to the experience we have had working with US gov't offices. The cool thing about this city is that it's a main portal for Americans picking up their babies from China to bring home through adoption. I've gotten to meet some wonderful families and hear some incredible testimonies. Another fun thing about this city is that there is color here. As in lots of different nationalities. It's like a buffet of color. I love it. I spent some time looking through gorgeous African cloth this afternoon and dreamed of all the things I could make with them.

This morning, we had a little time on our hands, so we gallivanted off to a park. This is pretty much what Makaria looked like for a decent portion of our stroll. She laughed and said hi and shook hands and lifted up her shirt for all to see.

This is the first time I've gotten to do bubbles with her. I love 'first time' things with your kids. What a blessing.

Then we got to eat Turkish food. I love Turkish food. I do not love the hair on the arms of Turkish men.

I will tell you, that if there was such thing as an Old Person's Olympics, China would take the entire Western hemisphere to school. One of the things I love about China is watching the older people do their hobbies. They are always outside doing something. Playing cards, carrying around their grand kids, beating their legs on a tree, kicking around a hacky sack, walking backwards, hitting a badminton birdie, the list could go on and on. I've finally decided to capture some of it in pictures.

In this picture alone, there's a squatting man, a woman dancing with a plastic ring, a woman using the bridge to stretch, and a woman doing Tai Chi.

This is not your family reunion type of badminton. These people sweat playing it.

Now, this man with the jacket. He was initially walking around in circles clapping. He then realized that Makaria was sleeping and so decided for a quieter form of exercise. (This might have been a decision hastened by the fact that I shot him an evil eye.) So he removed his jacket. And started running in circles. And then twirling the jacket around like Julie Andrews.

This is one of my favorite exercises to watch. They all have a small racket with a ball on top. Then, there is music that is played and a routine that is danced. They twirl around, moving the racquets in a very fluid motion so that the ball doesn't fall. It's really amazing to watch. They put it behind their backs and through their legs and spin around. Amazing. And Makaria thought so too.

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