Sunday, September 18, 2011

Babies, Birthdays and Rock Bands

Two weeks ago Monday was my first day volunteering at the orphanage.  The volunteers are there five days a week for two hours a day and each day has approximately six volunteers.  The job of the volunteers is to assist the Ayis (pronounced "i-e") by taking the children out of their cribs, helping with feeding and diaper changes, playing with the children in the activity room and giving them as much love as possible.

While I was there, the overwhelming feeling that I had was the same one I had when I was working as a speech-language pathologist...not enough time, resources and hands.  I think that it's a good feeling; the drive to do better and help more.  I'm looking forward to my Mondays at the orphanage and doing a little better each time.  It also struck me as such an incredible honor to care for these children until they are matched and united with their forever families.  I hope and pray that someone might be doing the same for our future McClintock.

The rest of the week was really busy for our family.  Jamie had some co-workers visiting from the States and he had several dinners, which meant late nights for everyone.  By Friday we were all pretty tired, but we couldn't let the day pass without a little celebration.  It was Jamie's birthday, his first one in China.  I got  an unexpected text a few hours before dinner from a friend.  She graciously invited us over for dinner if we didn't have plans.  I told her I had run out of energy to cook dinner about an hour into my fight with EBean about her lack of nap time. I was happy to take her up on her dinner offer and I could even bring some birthday cake for dessert!

Happy 34th Birthday!

The rest of the weekend was recovery from the busy week.  On Monday we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival at home (see last week's What's That? Wednesday post).  Tuesday morning Jamie and I had a big question to ponder, "to rock or not?"  One of the bands that Jamie really enjoys was playing in Shanghai and we weren't sure if we would be able to go.  It is unusual for music groups like this to be allowed to perform in China.  In fact, it has become our personal joke that you have to go to Malaysia to see a good concert.  While watching our cable (which comes from Australia) an advertisement for a good concert will pop up and of course it's not local for's in Malaysia.

We are starting to show our age because on Tuesday morning we looked at each other and Jamie said, "I kind of hope we can't get tickets, I'm so tired."  I laughed and said that I was too.  But, in the early afternoon Jamie spoke to someone at the concert venue and although the pre-sale tickets were gone, she felt like that if we got there early we would be okay.  Our driver was prepared to take us to Shanghai and our Ayi was coming to watch the girls, so when Jamie texted and asked if I wanted to go, I had to say yes, it seemed too perfect not to go.  That's what life is about, right...saying yes to opportunities?!

At 6:30 we hopped into the van, did a quick run into KFC for dinner (I need to learn some better fast-food options when we're in a pinch) and trekked the 90 minutes east to Shanghai.  Now, I have to explain the name of the concert venue, it's acronym is MAO, which I think stands for "music-art-oasis", but it also happens to be the name of a very famous Chinese man, Chairman Mao.

Recognize the outline of the hair on the cup?

I'm not sure if this cup is considered sacrilegious or a nice nod to Mao, but I found it very amusing.  The concert itself was awesome!  It was only one act, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for a 2 1/2 hours in a very small venue.  We were about 6 people back (until the mosh pit started).  Girls, your mom & dad can still rock.  

Jamie loves music and it's been an important part of his life.  I surprised Jamie with tickets to see Oasis when I was pregnant with LBean (with some help from a good friend), I surprised him again for his 30th birthday & M.B.A. graduation with tickets to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so it seemed fitting that we would again be celebrating his birthday with music.  (Do you see a pattern developing?)  We got home shortly before 1 a.m.  Even though we felt good the next day, I think it eventually caught up with us, but the concert was so worth it!

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