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This evening we received Little Man’s Chinese passport, so tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou for the last leg of our in-country adoption journey.

I’ll be honest, I don’t think any in our travel group will miss Zhengzhou all that much. It’s hot, it’s smoggy, and it smells. It’s a working man’s city, leaving the glamour for the likes of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. Our hotel is likely the best around, but there is no AC, no hot water, and a serious deficit in the cleanliness department. We’re over it.

Today, however, Zhengzhou redeemed itself. We discovered an oasis, hidden in the bustling metropolis; a local city park that was nothing short of a slice of heaven. We wandered in shortly after breakfast, as the local retirees convened on the grounds to practice tai chi, calisthenics, dance, speed walk, and play badminton or ping-pong with friends. Some were playing music, others were quietly fishing. The plum blossom petals danced on the breeze like snow, the lily pads stretched to the surface of the ponds, and the bamboo muted the sound of nearby traffic.

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moments before we snapped this photo, all the women in the background were doing some sort of choreographed dance with swords, like the one in the center

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this man silently scripted Chinese characters on a bridge with just water, it was breathtaking

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tai chi

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The park was such a welcome delight, that we made a second venture there this evening, where we discovered several more surprises.

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funky little paddle-boats that I would have loved to ride on, had they provided life jackets for the kiddos

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feeding the doves

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I know.


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