Journeys of Sophie and Mama
First, wake up at 4am for a 5am departure to Dandong. Ready by 4:30 and guessing what time guide will show up. Sophie says 5:05 and I say 5:10. We were both wrong. He actually showed up at 4:55. I about fainted.
Second, board very little bus for 3 hour ride to Dandong. Driver reminds you of Bluto from Popeye. On way to Dandong, stop twice for "excercise". Driver actually gets out of the bus and walks around waving his arms and so forth. A few minutes later, driver actually stops and takes a 5 minute nap. What fun!
Third, arrive at Dandong police station. Wait and wait and wait for Sophie's teacher to show up with paperwork. She finally arrives and we are told we have to go next door for pictures. We go next door, take pictures and then come back to apply for the passport. After waiting over an hour (while guide and teacher go behind padlocked doors with police man and mama and Sophie are left with no English speaking people around) we are finally able to leave. Guide says passport should be ready with no problem. Mama and Sophie are still worried. We won't know for sure until Monday whether we are delayed or not.
Forth, arrive at Dandong SWI after a very bumpy and scary ride thru streets of Dandong. Look at North Korea from bus. Bus driver doesn't want to stop so I can take picture. Sophie is created at the SWI by several teachers and children. It seems like she was very much loved.
Fifth, board bus for 3 hour ride back to Shenyang. Luckily driver took a nap at the police station so he doesn't feel the need for another one. Sophie was very good on the bus ride to and from. She cried on the way back, took a nap and then cried a little bit more. When we got back to the hotel room she was completely different. She is constantly calling me mama and seems so happy.
Sixth, we decided to go shopping for shoes. No go. Couldn't find the children's department and the ladies at the mall kept taking Sophie away.
We are going to KFC for dinner tonight. Last night we had McDonald's. Our guide doesn't think we need to experience any of the local foods or anything so he has left us alone every night and at lunch every day. This has definitely been an experience I won't long forget.
Thank you again for all of the wonderful comments and for all of the prayers. Keep them coming because we still aren't out of the woods until Monday morning.