Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunday's update and random details

We're in Hanoi! This hotel is 100x nicer and the room is 3x bigger. Literally. We have a mini-suite, which is good since we'll be here at least a week. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it looks like there's a small chance we'll be back on schedule to come home on the 23rd. We may not know until the 22nd, but keep sending up prayers and thoughts for a speedy process!

I'm still feeling much better. The antibiotics must have done the trick. I still have some stomach issues, but with my history (Crohn's), that doesn't surprise me. I can deal with that-it was the constant nausea that was killing me.

Dylan is doing SO well. He was a real trooper on the 2-hour flight up here. He's such a happy, adjusted baby. He'll say mama and dada and reach up for us. He likes to sleep laying on my chest. He doesn't like for us to feed him, though. He has to be laying flat on the bed or in his crib to drink his bottle. He'll let us hold the bottle, and he'll play with our fingernails. He's teething and likes to chew on his thumb. He doesn't suck it, just chews. I think his 9th tooth is coming in. Other than being fussy when he's sleepy or hungry, he's always happy. He has the funniest laugh and I can't wait for you all to hear it.

I'm going to work on uploading our Cu Chi Tunnel pictures today.

We got his abandonment report a couple days ago. He was found outside the gate of the orphanage on 3/26. They estimated him to be about 3 days old, but we're keeping 3/26 as his birthdate, as that's what his birth certificate says. He weighed 6.5 pounds when they found him. They posted a notice in the paper for any family to claim him and no one did. So we'll never be able to get any information on his birth family. We knew that was a good possibility going into this, so we're ok with it.

We're in the homestretch now and can't wait to come home and see everyone! We decided to extend our work leave until the 3rd or 4th week of January, so we'll have time to get him on a schedule, visit with everyone, and get him used to being in his crib. He seems to adjust really well to new surroundings, so we're hopeful about that. We're really worried about the 13-hour leg of our flight and we wish we were in business class. But we've made it through all this, we'll make it through that!

Have I mentioned the traffic here? It's unbelievable. 90% of people drive scooters, or small motorcycles. The rest drive bicycles or cars. There are lines on the road and for the most part, people drive on the right side, but they completely ignore the lines. It's total chaos. I've never seen anything like it. Crossing the road is a nightmare. They just part around you-there's never a break in the flow. You can't get scared and stop, or you'll get hit. They anticipate where you'll be by your pace and base their driving on that. We did see one accident, after the fact. It was horrible. Big truck with a bicycle under the front tire. I saw a flip flop. The driver was already gone. I have a feeling he/she didn't make it.

They don't have carseats here. One of the pictures I have is from the ride home from Cu Chi. Dylan was sleeping on the seat between Chris and me. No seatbelts, no carseats. I bet he won't care much for the carseat when we get home.

I wish there was some way to show the traffic flow. It's truly incredible. Very scary. And there are no stop signs. A few major streets have stop lights, which count down until they turn green (wouldn't that be nice?), but most streets are just open and you have to cross when you can.

The weather in Hanoi is much milder than HCMC. It was in the 60's last night. It felt GREAT.

There are lots of people on the street trying to sell stuff. They carry these sticks across their back with a basket on each side, full of fruit or souveniers or coconut milk. Some disabled people sit on the sidewalk and hold out their hats for money. Everywhere you walk, you hear, "Sir! Ma'am! Come in, come in and look." They all want you to come in their stores. Sometimes they get rather pushy, but overall it's ok.

The waitresses in the restaurants like to hold your baby while you eat. It's actually really nice. I never thought I'd be comfortable with it, but they always keep them in your sight, and it makes it possible to eat. Anyone who has gone out to eat with an infant knows how difficult it is. That's how EVERY meal is here! Ha!

You'd be amazed at the things people carry on their scooters. We've seen up to 4 people (2 adults, 2 kids) on ONE scooter. We saw someone carrying a desk and office chair strapped to their scooter. We saw two scooters driving side-by-side carrying a plate glass window!! If you could see the traffic here, you'd know how amazing this was! Oh, yesterday I saw someone with a ladder strapped to their scooter. The babies on scooters usually have mosquito net-type things over them and the adults all wear cloths over their nose and mouth. But we rarely see helmets. We asked our facilitator if there are ever any accidents and he said all the time. The morning news tells how many deaths and injuries there were the previous day from traffic accidents. It's really crazy.

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