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September 04, 2005

Sunday: Dim Sum Banquet

A_norman

This is Norman Niu. He's the guy who makes it all happen. He's been doing this since 1994, and has made more than 200 roundtrips back and forth to China in the course of working with adopting families. We like Norman. We met him for the first time Sunday at the "kick-off" banquet at a local restaurant in Guangzhou. Our group is pretty big by now: 38 families, maybe 100-120 people without counting the new babies. We got details about the next few days. We split into five groups based on the location of our daughter (or son, or in one case, daughters). Four of the groups will be leaving Guangzhou tomorrow to fly somewhere. We're in the fifth group, the babies from Guangdong province, where Guangzhou city is located. We're staying in the city, and the babies from all the orphanages in Guangdong province will be brought to a government office in the city. We leave the hotel today at 2:30 to travel to this office. It's hard to believe tomorrow is The Day.

A_fin

It's probably worth spending a quick word on the banquet, or at least the restaurant. It was good stuff. The entry to the banquet hall was lined with giant fishtanks from which hundreds of entrees ogled you, wondering whether you'd be the one. The entrees covered much of the animal kingdom: lots of fish, all sorts of giant crustaceans, eels, a separate tank full of snakes, big stacks of shark fins, and so forth.

A_hand

The pictures capture some of the highlights. In the first (above), notice the unexpected similarity between a shark fin and a dunce cap. The second picture (left) is a cautionary tale for our daughters: if somebody dares you to put your hand into the deep fryer, it's okay to say no. I'm assured that with a few doses of traditional medicine, I'll be good as new in no time.

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