October 11 Nanning – Guiyang

Good morning from The Starfish Volunteer apartment in Guiyang.

Yesterday we packed, did some homework and checked out of The Majestic Hotel. Both Linnea and I thought it was both good and bad to leave Nanning.

New adventures were waiting for us.

Mamma, baba, Kelly and the funny uncle picked us up in 2 cars and took us to the airport. Mamma had a big bag of food for Linnea and also gave her a red envalope with money. After a lot of hugging we went through secyrity check and gate 41.

The original take off time was 13:40 but it was changed to 13:20 a month ago. Well we took off at 13:40 anyway.

Linnea and I sat together and I took a short nap while she was drawing. And then it was time to land.

Henk was easy to find 😉 and it was good to finally see him again. We got 2 taxis and drowe off. The trafic here is even worse than Nanning. Here it is faster and more loud. We did not see anyone in a hurry in Nanning, all were very relaxed.

We got to the apartments arrier and in our apartment Jet, Robin, Norah and Bryan was waiting. So nice to finally meet them again. The kids interacted like they met yesterday and Robind & Norah is very good at speaking English. Linnea understands so much more than we thought and is now opening up to speaking to her friends. It is so cool to see how these 3 kids that we only got to know cause both Robin and Linnea is from Guangxi, now is such good friends and now starts to communicate in English.

After a lot of talking and visiting the foster home just upstairs from our apartment we went out for dinner. Many dishes and a lot of chili. Do I need to say Hans is in heaven here foodvise?

Robind who wasn´t feeling well went home and the rest of us went to a supermarket to buy breakfast. bery different from ours at home.

Back in the apartment we unpacked a little – we have a washing machine here and Linnea was making all the beds look nice and enjoying her self. She wanted to sleep in the same room as us – bunk beds. So she sleeps above Hans.

Jet & Henk tried to make nice softer beds with foam maddrases but I am sorry to say that this is even worth than the hotel. The bottom of a Chinese bed is not bendable wood. Like a door. So a usually I managed 6 hours in bed. To night I will try the maddrass that is lying under my bed and has springs.

Today we are off to the weekend market where we acording to Henk can buy everything! The girls want to do a sleep over here and at their appartment too.

Now I have to wait fot Hans to wake up to be able to transfer photos from my camera to the iPad, I have no wifi and can´t do it with out it.

See you later.

Much later almost bedtime and the internet is so unstable here so photos will have to wait….. Sorry!

October 9th and 10th

Good morning from Nanning. It is now 5:31 and I want to write about the last couple of days before we have to get ready to pack for the flight to Guiyang.

Also I want Linneas friends to know she misses them and that it ha been hard to find time to Skype since we have been out from morning to evening. We will try to find time during the weekend.

We are very happy to read your comments but since I’m writing on my iPad 1 not all funktions are available – like replying on comments…..

Jenny M – we have room 934 & 932 at The Majestic. The hotel is fine but breakfast sucks 🙂 Even our little noodle lover is now dreaming of beef and looks forward to have a kitchen in Guiyang.

Jenny PL – we will let you know more about Li and the other girls here.

We dreamt of seeing the real China, and we have and that includes both good and bad. China is the land of contrasts. Constantly showing new developent and high tech contra poverty and hard work.

On the 9th we was picked up by “the funny uncle” who actually is mamms brother and he is alway making fun with the children. We drove to Qingxin Shan park. A very beautiful mountain park. There we met up with Kelly, mamma, baba and 2 friends.

We walked through The friendship coridor with many beautiful paintings and flower arrangements. After a break – to eat – we walked a little longer and finally to a bus to a budhist temple. Very beautiful. There we also had lunch – noodle soup.

Then for me al long walk down hill to a lake with big fishes Linnea could feed. And finally the bus back to the car park and a small market.

Linnea bought presents for me, my mother and Kelly. She hardly uses any money on her self but loves to buy presents for everyone else.

Back to the hotel to pack 2 of our cabin bags to leave here in Nanning at the foster parents home. And ofcourse we had dinner there too.

The family and friends are very caring people who check upon us all the time to see if we are hungry or tired.

They really want the best for us but sometimes things goes a little wrong, like when they would give me a footbath to clean out bad stuff from my body so I can loose weight. The water was too hot and I felt like cooking my feet. I never uses the word hate but if I should it would be I hate to be extremly warm and especiall my feet, because that is what I get when I am hot. Here the temperature has been around 30 dgr C so I had been hot all day. So when Hans also started to tell me just to put my feet the very hot water, I paniced and gave up.

I am very glad that the family wants to help, and I try to do my best in the hot weather but sometimes I have to give in and accept I have limits whether I like it or not.

Hans has installed an app on my phone counting my steps and I beat my record in the park with 8424 steps. Now wonder my feet was hurting!

Yesterday we visited Peoples park where we never been even though it is right behind the hotel. Very nice place with people singing and playing music. Then we went to a small market with lots of jade and old coins. I bought a look a like coin with and Linna bought a bracelet for one of the family friends who has been with us very often and she is playing a lot with Linnea.

Linnea also bought baba a beer.

After the market we drow by the Phoenix hotel that is close to the station and town center. The family think it is better than the Majestic. So we went in at got to look at a room. The pricelist said 618 RMB for a twin room and foster mom got it for 290 RMB.

It is not that we don’t like the Majestic we only sleep here but the Phoenix really looked nice. And is cheaper that the Majestic. (not as much as we first thought) And the breakfast could be better. Ofcourse we will not have the pool and that is both good and bad. Linnea has been obcessed with returning to the hotel and the pool – and she have had a hard time to understand we are not here for the pool. On the same time it is nice to be able to take a swim in the afternoon or evening.

We were back at the hotel at 3 pm in the afternoon and tried to get Linnea to do some homework, that is less popular and we used a lot of time to get a plan ready for what’s left.

In the evening we went out to get some food and all we found was noodles so Linnea asked for McDonalds and we found it. She ate 8 chicken nuggets, fries and half a icecream.

And now the photos…… hard to choose…..

Nanning tracfic – no bikes anymore but eletric scooters with 1-4 people and no helmets.



Extremly high buildings


In the Qingxin park




Linnea blew soap bubbles and this little boy loved it!


Sweet Kelly! ( we so much want her to be with us when we return. She has been fantastic and we all love her – we wish her speed and good luck on her homework so that she can continue to be our interpreter and co-tourist! – No presure Kelly just a true wish for our next stay in Nanning)


Climbing obstacles in the park. Do I need to tell you how fast Linnea did the whole thing and how impresed the family and friends were?



The bus was full so someone shared a seat




Feeding the fishes



Contrasting buildings


A Buddha statue with a sign with opposite meaning here and at home!


In Peoples park







I better keep an eye on my husband 😉 People are starring at us and loves to take photos of us or with us!


Street view



Nanning by night!


October 8th – visiting the Li family

At 8:30 Matthew picked us up at the hotel. Kelly, mamma & baba joined us. On our way Lucy also from Hope for Chinas Children joined us too.

We went to the school that Li goes to an live at. Many children live there during the week. Li is 11 years old but there is younger children living there too. They only get home in the weekend.

Li was very shy. The other kids at the school were very courious about us.

We all went home to Li where her mother were waiting. A teacher from the school joined us in the bus. Li got our presents.

Their home is quite big but only has the most nessecery furniture. Linnea was very taken by seeing walls with no wall paper and how little they have.

Then we went back to the school. Matthew and Lucy were meeting the other girls in the Guangxi girl program and paying school fees. We were asked to sing a Swedish song and som of the girls sang for us. All to make conections and make the girls more open.

Li and Linnea were drawing and gave each other their drawing, they were connecting without a common language. They hold hands, make faces, laugh and really enjoyed each other. They sat together in the group photo and in the bus to the noodlesoop-shop.

Totally were around 50 people in 2 soupkitchens. We had agreed to buy lunch for the girls and their parent/granparent that also had come to the school. For 270 RMB (= 337,5 SEK) around 50 people got a noodlesoup lunch.

Baba bought Linnea and Li a cake and Linnea and Hans bought 10 more cakes to the girls in our soupkitchen. The others had gone back to school.

Across the street a woman were selling long shaped watermelons – 3 for 10 RMB – Hans were in heaven 🙂

We agreed to do 2 more homevisits with Matthew and Lucy. Li went back to the school and the 2 girls jumped on the bus with us.

The frist home was so far out in the country side that the bus couldn’t turn around and had to be pushed by Hans, the teacher and Matthew.

The girls parents were mental ill and her grandmother were taking care of everything at the age of 71. They were growing rice but it was destroyed by the wether. The house were in a very bad shape. No floor and it could be very cold in the winter. The girl was very sad and Lucy took care of her.

Matthew asked if we wanded to support them togehter with him and we gave 200 RMB. Linnea also wanted to donate som of her own money and gave 50 RMB.

The grandmother was very gratefull and didn’t like to take the money even though she needed them. We were all very taken by this family. And Linnea wished everybody on earth should have equal amount of money so no one would be poor.

The other girls family was also in the country side but they were better off. They had pigs and even though both parents had some diseases they did mangage better.

Back at the hotel we agreed with Matthew to meet up with Li again when we are back in Nanning to give her a small hand hold computer/gamer to have teeaching games in.

The school kid looking at us.


Linnea & Li


Li’s home



The girls are drawing


Making faces


Baba, the girls and the cakes


The cakes


Noodle soup


The first girls home


The door into the house


Inside the house


The view from the house


Turning the bus


Back at the hotel to take a swin in the pool


October 7 Monkey moutain

When we left the family home yesterday we thought we were going to the Monkey Mountain with Mamma, Baba & Kelly, but nooooo!!! The friends and family members wanted to come too. In total we were 15 people in a small bus.

We were picked up by Baba at 7:40 am. We drove to the main square where we had time to take some photos before going on the bus.

We drove for almost 2 hours on the most bumping road ever! The contrasts in the buildings are enorm. We drove though rice fields, banan feilds and karst mountains.

We started by walked down a lot of stairs, over a bridge and up lots of stairs. It was very hard work in the heat. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius.

Then we met the monkeys. They were taking food from our hands.
After more stairs we came to a resting arrea where Baba bought Linnea a green monkey and we had lunch.

Linnea and I bought the 2 children that ware with us a monkey too, and Linnea then wanted Kelly to have one too, so she got a red one. Linnea wanted to give Xiao-Wu (the daughter in law) a present because she is a litlle left out since she is the second wife of the son and did not know Linnea as a baby. Linnea bougt a painting for her.

After lunch we took a bamboo raft down the river and saw monkeys swimming in the river. Then up the mountain again taking a lot of photos.

The famlily is very conserned of us: Do we eat enough, is it too hot, did we drink enough water…. it is very easy to see that they care alot!

Main square


Main square


Banana field


Karst mountain


Monkey eating Swedish “pepparkakor”




Kelly & Baba at the raft


Monkeys at the river


Monkey swimming in the river


Beautiful scenery


October 6th Visiting the foster family

We have now seen more of Nanning in 2 days than we did back in 2007. I will write 2 posts one for each day….

Yesterday we were picked up by Loa-Huang (Baba), Kelly and a friend of the family. We triede to go to the train station to get our tickets but there were so many people so we just went home to the Huang family where whole family and friends were waiting for us. During the day more friends came to say hallo.

We started with some food and presents. Lao-Zhang (Mamma) had knitted scarfs for all of us. Linnea got 2 embroidered pictures and we all got a tea set. Linnea also got 2 teaspoons the she used as a baby, a stone found on the day she came home that would give her good luck and a string with a name tag that she was waring when from the orphanage.

We gave our gifts and talked and ate more food. Lao-Zhang had been cooking all day.

We went to se places where Linnea used to play and we went to a ticket office and got our trainticket.

The family is very happy to see Linnea, and Lao-Zhang tells everybody we meet that Xiaoxue is back!

Gifts from the family


How tall is she now?


Playing with the kids


Lao-Huang (Baba), Xiao-Huang (the son) & Lao-Huang’s brother looking at the photo book I made


Little Linnea with Baba


Big Linnea with Baba


Little Linnea


Big Linnea


Little Linnea


Big Linnea


Nanning by night


New shoes for our princess



As promised, here is the photos:

Sleeping in Beijing


Mormor in the plane to Nanning


Hans & Linnea in the plane to Nanning


Our plane in Nanning Airport


Mama & Linnea


One big family (the 3 friends and Kelly are not on the photo)


Majestic Hotel


View from the hotel


Our room


Dinner party


Departure and Arrival

2014-10-06 3:58 am

Going to bed at 9:20 pm + a very hard bed = awake now. But I do intend to go back to bed as soon as I’m done writing.

I woke up Saturday morning at 3:30 am. I realize I was more nervous this time than back in 2007. Finally we were going back to Nanning. We cought the train in time and met up with my mom in Copenhagen airport. Check in took 15 minutes – self service.
Finally I could relax.

The suitcases were to be picked up in Frankfurt since we were flying with SAS and changing to Air China there.

Well landed in Frankfurt we first took a tour of the airport by a driving plae, the by bus and finally we walked. 2 hours was just enought.

The 9,5 hours flight was a long flight. We were not allowed to use mobile phones in flight mode so it was a bit borring. Linnea, Hans and my mom slept for 2 hours, I slept for one.

I Beijng it took 2 hours from landing to being in the transfer arrier. The bagage was transfered directly to Nanning. Linnea fell asleep on a sofa and slept for 2,5 hours. My mom slept for one hour on the sofa, and Hans in a chair for a few minutes and I slept maybe 30 minutes too. We bought Chinese sim cards and there for it’s no longer possible to send SMS to us. You can call Hans or me if it is important. The Swedish number is forwarded to the Chines,

Final flight was the hardest. Very tight with the space. Linnea was awake and happy but we the adults fell asleep and woke up over and over.

When the plane landed I was realizing that when we were here in 2007 we took a little girl away from all she had ever known.

We landed in the new airport in Nanning, it opened one month ago.

We went to the bagage claim and every thing were there. Just opposite the bagage claim was the exit, and we saw alot of people waiting. And some were waving at us!

With tears in my eyes we went out and there they were; The foster family. Linneas family! Foster mom hugged Linnea over the fence. And gave her flowers. We all got flowers. People were taking photos and we found out how many that had come to meet us: 9 people!!
Foster mom, foster dad, their son, his wife, foster dads brother, 3 friends and Kelly. They all remembered Linnea and were very happy to see her again. Foster mom were hugging and checking out how big Linnea is now. Her hair, her lenght, her hands – every thing!

Linnea also got a huge fruit basket with mini bananas, grapes and a fruit I don’t know what is called.

They had 3 cars and we drove a long way to the hotel. My mom and Linnea in the car with foster mom, Hans and I with Kelly and foster dad.

I took pictures on the way having a hard time believing we finally are in Nanning.

Kelly who only just got to know the family describes them at a kind and loving family, the same impression that I have had for so many years. I remember that back in 2007 from the day we were got our referal (May 25th) to the day we got her (October 25th) I felt that she we in a good family and we didn’t need to rush to China to get her. I could not have been more right. This family were and is amazing!

We checked in at the hotel Majestic. I showed Linnea where we eate our first lunch with her and were she had been going up and down with the elevators. We got 2 room but quite far for each other so we changed them to rooms next to each other, but no connecting door. We are on the 9th floor with a view to the pool.

The family had prepared a visit to a restaurant just across the street. We had one hour to shower and get changed. At the restaurant the whole family and their friends were waiting for us. We ate good and hot food with a lot of chilli. Drank watermelon juice, bear and tea.

Linnea sat between me and foster mom. They were all very happy to see that Linnea can eat with cop sticks and that she can say xiexie (thank you).

After dinner Linnea and I got very tired! Linnea wanted to go to bed. Before we said “waa’an” (good night) we decided on meeting at 11:30 here at the hotel. We are going to pick up the train tickets Gulin-Nanning and then home to the family. It will be a day with food and presents.

We also asked what to call the family members….

Linnea will call foster mom “mama” and foster dad “baba” just as when she lived here. We will call foster mom Lao-Zhang and foster dad Lao-Huang. You put Lao infront of the name to show respect and because you are a close friend of the family. Lao means “the older”.
The son, who they describes as Linneas brother, we will call Xiao-Huang, and his wife Xiao-Wu. Xiao means “the younger”.

When we came up to the room I was so tired I could fall asleep on the spot. But we had some eletrical promlems. We found 3 plugs in the walls and we need to charge our phones and pads and I need a plug for my CPAP.

We have one by the desk, one by the bed and one with a lamp. The one at the bed does not work. I we pulled out the lamp the light in my moms and Linneas room started switching on and off. So we had to move around a little so that everything can be charged from the desk plug. Lucky for us is that Hans took an extention with him for 7 cables.

Now it is almost 5 am and I will return to my bed, hoping to ge a couple of hours sleep. Photos will be added when Hans is awake and can help me.

“waa’an”for now!

Last post from Sweden

Linnea has said “bye bye” to her friends this afternoon. It was clear that her 2 best friend will miss her a lot!

Many hugs and they want to look at photos and hear from her via Skype or email!

The hard part for me today was to leave Tindra. My sweet little baby – lots of hugging at home and we know she is taken good care of!

I have been cleaning and doing all the last minute stuff and in a few minutes we’ll hit the sofa, watch some TV for a short while before we’re off to bed. We decided to set the alarm to 4:30 to pack the cabin bags. Hopeless to do it to night – there are stuff we can’t pack until tomorrow any way!

So this is it! I’m turning off my computer and my next post will be somewhere on the way or in China!

Take care! Have fun!




1st of October – China’s National Day

Happy National Day!

Finally we are in October – a month that always has been and will be a very special month for us!

As a child I looked forward to the autumn holyday. One week off school that my family spend in the summerhouse doing craft, playing games or walked in the forest.

Also October was the month of my fathers birthday. He was born on the 27th 1932.


In 2001 Hans and I got married. We chose my fathers birthday since he was not with us anymore!


After many years of waiting we became parents on the 25th of October 2007.


Finally on the 9th of October 2010 Tindra moved in to shine with her presents ( Tindra = Shine).


This year we will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary  and for the second time it will be in Nanning.  And of course we’ll celebrate 7 years as parents and as a family in Nanning where it all began!

Today is the last day for Linnea to play with a friend after school. Her best friend Mathilda! I’m sure they will miss each other and have fun when they Skype while we are in China!


Tomorrow is the day our rabbit Kajsa moves to town, she is going to stay with friends.


Friday we will pack the cabin bags and do the last tings on our to do list! And take Tindra to the dog “hotel”.

The alarm will ring on Saturday morning at 5 am, leaving in the car at 6 am and with the train 6:44 am!



Travel fever

With 5 days to go I surely got travel fever this weekend.

The mood has been down, the nervousness up!

We have know about this trip for more than 6 years. We have been planning and booking since February this year.

I have been the travel agent and I have loved it. I just took a look of my fist post about this trip – here – and I saw the photos! I have said it before and I will say it again! I can’t believe how fortunate I am to get to see all of this and to meet so many nice people!

It is a big “thing” traveling back. It is important that it will be a wonderful experience for all of us, and I know I have done the best I can planning it!

So why these nerves? Why bad mood, light headache and an up side down stomach feeling?

Well, I am big! I sometimes forget how big I am. My mind think I can do stuff but my body tells me otherwise.

So my mind is full of questions like:

  • Will my back hurt after carrying the suitcases?  (Probably not they have wheels….)
  • Will I fit in the chair in the plan?
  • Will the seat belt be able to reach around me?
  • Will my feet be able to carry me around all day every day?
  • What will I miss because I have to take a break while the others walk along?
  • What impact does my heaviness have on my family on the trip?
  • Will I get mood swings from the food?

Well, I know I can’t answer all of these question but what I can do is start work on the mood and the feelings I have – right now!

First step is to write here!

Next step is to decide a deadline for this down-mood! I have done it before and it works when you decide to let go! I feel I’m in a bit of a hurry, and I want to be able to sleep longer than to 4:30 am so I will put the deadline to after my shower today  – in a few minutes!

Third step is that I will get things done on my to do list and do things that makes me feel good, like tonight Line Dance class!

Off the shower to wash off this travel fever….


About a family with 3 countries in their hearts: Denmark, Sweden & China!