Monday, May 9, 2011


I just checked out the web site of the botanical garden where our pagoda/hut will be located. It is Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden XTBG).I was looking for some sort of official land line emergency number—the “if someone dies or there is a natural disaster here’s how to reach us thing” I came across the garden rules and am now afraid our kids will be ejected. I also have visions of them spending the entire summer in some sort of institutional time out. Here are the two that concern me.

4. Be courteous please. No fighting or nasty words may occur in the Garden.
5. Please take good care of any tree and grass in the Garden. Not any flower or branch is allowed to be cut. No climbing. No scribbling. No paddling in the ponds.

Let’s just say that we are not specializing in kind words this week and that Rebecca and Joanthan have spent the better part of the weekend IN the tree next door.

Meanwhile Manuel now tells me we are not “technically” going to the jungle. However I found our spot in the guidebook and on the web and both call it a jungle. So the technical biophysicological definition is not interesting to me just now.

We’re now in completely spastic mode of prep. Manuel has been to the cvs so many times that the check out ladies know his name. I’m making all kinds of lists, which seem to get longer rather than shorter. The kids leave today to have some quality time with their grandparents before we leave. This was my sister’s brilliant idea. Their help has of course been invaluable. I especially liked it when Jonathan put a giant wooden star of David shield that he made in woodworking in the pile to come with us. (it looks kind of like a very small maccabee has come to town) It was equally nice when they retrieved items from the trash and got the brilliant idea that perhaps they should burry some treasures in case some “hobos” moved in. And every day for at least the last two weeks Eli says “aw we goin to china today. Awww why not?”

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