Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

DAY 5: Travel to Urumqi!

Click for Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Forecast

Today we met at 6am to go to the airport, for our flight to Urumqi. The 4 hour flight from Beijing to Urumqi seemed really short after crossing the ocean.. The majestic snow-capped Tian Shan mountains out the window were breathtaking!
After landing we met our guide, Wendy, and took the bus to our hotel. Vivi, Lily (the 4 year old), Stephanie (the 6 year old) and Brian are becoming good little buddies. In the plane Vivi and Lily watched videos together, colored, played with playdough- and then they all sat in the back of the bus together squealing and giggling at something the way to the hotel.

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (the official name of the province) is the largest province in China. At 1.66 million square km it is 7 times the size of France. With a population of over 19 million, Xinjiang is home to 47 ethnic groups including the Uygur (pronounced WEE-gur, sometimes spelled Uighur), the major ethnic group in Xinjiang. Most of the signs are in Chinese and Uighur, which is a turkic language that to me looks like Arabic.
The driest, hottest, and coldest places in China are in Xinjiang and the greatest desert is here as well. China's longest inland river (the Tarim), the second lowest point on Earth next to the Dead Sea (the Turpan Basin), and the second highest mountain on Earth is in Xinjiang (Mount Qogir, 8,611 meters above sea level). Although China spans over 5 time zones, the entire country officially goes by Beijing time. Looking on a map, Urumqi is in the middle of nowhere. We expected a small town, and were totally surprised at such a large city. This is a really big city- they said there are more than 1.5 million people here.

Here are some pictures we took out of the bus window on our way to the hotel:
Just in front of our hotel is a large city plaza where there were tons of kids rollerblading and flying kites:
Here is the view from our hotel room (which doesn't face the square):
Towards the end of the day, Vivi was really getting tired (poor little girl!!). Every day around 5 she just can't keep her eyes open anymore. She usually falls asleep between 5-6pm and there is NOTHING we can do to wake her up and get her to eat. So the problem is she misses dinner and then wakes up from 1am-3am to eat, go to the bathroom, etc. You would think we could just try to feed her dinner earlier, but ti never works out with the touring, or today signing paperwork, etc. She is SO tired, poor baby, and she hasn't been eating very well because she won't try any of the food (except the rice!). She has been surviving on fruit, some veggies, and rice. Today we bought some yogurt, fruit, and chocolate milk at a supermarket across the plaza from the hotel, but she was too zonked out to eat. Hopefully tomorrow we can load her up! She is such a trooper though, even though she is hungry and exhausted. What a sweetie-pie!!


Christi said...

How exciting that you made it to Urumqi!! I came to M & D's today, we are being quiet so we don't wake Maya from her nap ;) Your photos are beautiful, we look at your blog everyday. It's 3am your time, in a few hours you'll meet Tonito!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea Urumqi was so big! We all wish we could have gone along to see the sites and visit the places you are visiting. However this is your opportunity to learn about your son's heritage and culture, just as we learned about Peru during our visit there. You're doing a great job documenting your trip, and Tonito will appreciate it some day. Good luck today, and gently give him our love. Dadxxoo