Yesterday was a free day while we waited for the medical reports to come back which are needed for the visa appointment at the US Consulate. So we went to the Safari Park along with some other Holt families. The Safari Park is about an hour from the China Hotel. It is essentially a HUGE zoo with a drive through safari. We loaded onto a tram and went through the driving part of the safari first. Rachel loved the whole ride. She kept pointing to animals and grunting and saying 'oooooh' at all the animals. She does not say much that we understand but she sure does communicate well in other ways. It was kind of like the drive through safari at Great Adventure or the Safari ride in Disney World but bigger and better.
We saw lots of animals and the expressions on Rachel's face were priceless. It was a hot day in Guangzhou. It is hot here families who will be traveling soon. Bring tank tops and shorts and Tide packets to wash them out in your bathtub. I've been doing a lot of laundry. We sweat so much it's not very nice to those around us to wear our clothes multiple times. We brought a clothes line too and strung it around the hotel room and dried out all our clothes. Highly recommend for those families traveling soon. After the Safari ride, we walked around the rest of the zoo. They have a lot of huge exhibits and the animals are surprisingly active. A white tiger came right up to the glass and tried to eat Rachel. It was neat to see the tiger so close but Rachel was terrified. Bad parenting moment when the tiger tries to eat your kid. We felt terrible that she got so scared. Of course we had no idea that's why the tiger came up so close to the glass. We moved on and Rachel quickly recovered so we don't think there is any permanent damage.
We had a great day at the safari park and highly recommend to other families who debate whether to make the trip. Rachel did not nap at all again so we had to deal with her being delirious again but nothing a little ice cream couldn't manage. We've learned she naps very well in the crib but not on us or in the stroller. Should make for a fabulous flight home. She seems to be adjusting really well to us. She is fine being held by either of us now and even lets Abigail walk her around and hold her hand. She does not like anyone to go near or touch her food but otherwise seems like a happy kid.
When we got back at 6:30pm from the Safari Park, Russ ran out and got us McDonalds, baths and bed. Rachel passed out quickly and slept well. We've only eaten McDonalds twice on this trip and Papa Johns twice. Otherwise we've been eating all the local food. Abigail has been a champ at eating and trying lots of foods. She doesn't like it all (either do I) but she's been trying it all. Abigail really has been such a big help to us on this trip and a good sport about sleeping on the couch and managing through long days and boring appointments. She just loves on her sister. It helps a lot that she's made such a good friend on this trip. She's already asking when we can visit Isabella when we get home. Thankfully she made a friend from PA and not somewhere else in the country as there are families from all over the US here.
This morning we had to be downstairs and on the bus at 9am for our consulate appointment. We had to leave our watches, cell phones, pens and everything else in the hotel. We left with our passports, room key and a diaper and cheerios. Thank God for the cheerios. They have gotten us through many a long boring appointment or bus ride. We swore to the US government that we would not hurt, abandon and would take care of Rachel. I signed with my fingerprints and we were out of there. Our Holt guide will pick up the Visas tomorrow by 4pm and then we will be leaving Guangzhou by train. We should arrive late night in Hong Kong. We will spend the night at the airport hotel and then board our 15 hour flight early Thursday morning. I think this will be my last update until we get home. Please keep us in your prayers for a safe journey. We should be landing around 3pm EST on Thursday. I can't wait to get home and squeeze my boys!!! Thank you all for following our journey. We are thankful to God for bringing us to Rachel and can't wait to bring her home to meet her brothers, to see her home and all that life has for her there. One less orphan and one more daughter! Yes, thank you Jesus!