The countryside on outskirts of Guangchang

It was a busy and tiring couple of days travelling to the orphanage.  We flew via shanghai to nanchang and stayred there for a night.  The next day we went shopping for gifts for the orphanage and drove 5 hours to get there.  There is a new super highway to get from Nanchang to Guangchang so the drive was much smoother than what I expected.  We had lunch and visited the orphanage and caregivers as well as finding spot and foster home.  It was an emotional and difficult day but we are so glad we went.  We stayed over night in Guangchang then drove back to Nanchang to get on a flight to Shanghai.

A friendly welcome at the SWI

Giving gifts to the children at the orphanage

Nanchang has changed so much since wewere there 9 years ago.  It is bigger and more modern city with skyscrapers.  There is a new terminal at the airport and lots of modern shopping.  Apparently a car company came to town and it has totally revolutionized the city. Guangchang was bigger than I expected.  When I told my guide that, he said it had grown a lot in the past five years too.  The orphanage is in a different building than it was when Xinya was small and I was worried because I had heard it was a recycling transfer station.  I thought that would be difficult to see.  But it has been rented out to a small company who makes furniture.  The industry in Guangchang is cigarette manufacturing and lotus growing and processing.  We had lotus root soup when we went for lunch.  The lotus plant is also ground up and made into a milk.  We didn’t get to try that.

The old orphanage and views of the street around it

For anyone travelling there, we stayed in the Galactic Hotel in Nanchang, which was great.  There are several restaurants there.  Most westerners stick to the Western Restaurant but we went down to the Chinese Restaurant (yes, that’s what it was called) and although there was some smoking, the food was incredible.  Our presence seemed a bit unexpected but they were very helpful and the food was very good.  All the dishes were on display and you picked them out before you sat down.  AND, the price for the entire dinner for three was the same as the buffet for one in the Western Restaurant!  In Guangchang, we stayed at the best hotel in town.  It was large with nice finishes but not well kept with cigarette burns the the carpet, stained sheets and a missing toilet seat.  Breakfast was a typical chinese breakfast.

Hotel in Guangchang

The institutions the babies are at in China are called Social Welfare Institutes.  This is because they are places for people to go who need care.  This is babies as well as old people who have no children to care for them.  Therefore, the building we went to was big and housed both babies and senior citizens.   It seems the two groups are kept quite separate but the older folks sure were interested in our visit.  In Guangchang there were only about 12 babies there, mostly around one year old.  Apparently, they also have about 12 out in foster care.

We had a great time and a great guide. Next stop, Shanghai!


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