Saturday, August 23, 2008

Strange Fruit and Snowcones

This weekend in Raleigh was the third of four Arts Alive on Lichtin Plaza events. Art on the Edge brought us unique performers and collaborations of disparate art forms that managed to meld beautifully, and the installation, Levity III, which was like a circus tent gothic cathedral smoothie with some Islamic architecture sprinkled on top.

Friday night we went to see El Gleno Grande. He was hysterical. Street performer style humor and skills. A little juggling, some mime, some magic. Pulled unwitting members of the audience into his little world on stage. But his crowning glory, was his equestrian spoof. Apparently he has some links on his web site,, where you can see him in action.

Then we visited? toured? experienced? Levity 3. It is impossible to put into words and I think it really wouldn't matter much my interpretation because I think everyone is going to experience it differently. I will say that we were very fortunate to have visited it last night because there were so few people there and we were able to wander at our own pace. And for us part of the experience was just finding a little spot where we all stretched out and enjoyed the kaleidoscope of colors and sounds.

After that we went back into the Fletcher Opera Theater where a local (Chapel Hill) band, The Old Ceremony, was performing in conjunction with members of an Argentine Dance school and an aerial dancer. The music was incredible. Kate loved it! Kept saying "I like this song"! The music was bit too loud for Alex, so we only stayed for a few songs. I'll need to remember ear plugs for his next time out.

Today we went back to see Strange Fruit perform "Swoon!" Similar to El Gleno in that they reminded me of street performers, but perched 12 feet off the ground on poles that the artists would bend and sway as they "told" their story of love, jealousy and anger.

After sitting out in the sun it was decided that snowcones were in order. We weren't the only ones ready for some cool, so while we waited in line we had some time to chat with a fellow Exploris family we ran into and make a run for some water.

As we were getting ready to leave we stopped to thank a mom who we had sat next to briefly during "Swoon". Robin and her (Asian) daughter, Lucy, had given Kate a lollipop right as the show started so we didn't really get a good chance to say thanks. We chatted for a while, interupted every once in a while by either Kate or Lucy. At one point Kate pointed to Robin's t-shirt which had asian characters on it and asked "Chinese?". Robin told her it said Fu. I told Robin, "Oh, that is where Kate is from. Fuzhou." And guess what?? Robin's Lucy is a Fu, too! Such a random meeting half a world away from where they both started.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All That Glitters . . .

is not old . . . enough!

How did I miss that little girls now wear makeup?? Maybe I've always been out of the glamorous loop. Perhaps the fact that I didn't start wearing makeup until Alex was 2 is tell-tale to my lack of beauty savoir-faire. But I had no idea that first graders were hip to maybelline, etc. And no idea that girl's clothing stores offered free makeovers on weekends. It was arranged that Kate would get to go with her friend Bailey to one such "event". Kate was thrilled. I was apprehensive? And a wee bit scared (for Bailey's Mom who was taking the two friends).

Fortunately the makeup and hair adornement was low key. Although, and you can't really tell in the photo, they only shadowed-up one of her eyes. Is this yet another trend that I have missed the boat on??


Our first playdate for Kate at our house. Anada is one of Kate's friends from her last school year. Confusing, I know. She had a few weeks in Ms. B's first grade class at the end of the 2007-2008 school year (just to get her feet wet) and then started up (with Ms. B again) for the 2008-2009 school year. So Anada has moved on to second grade, but is still a good friend of Kate (and her sister Alice quite adores our little bug, too).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Let's Go Home?

Our first vacation as a family of four. Pine Knoll Shores, NC. Just two nights at the beach. And throughout the weekend Kate kept asking "let's go home?".

When we first got our match with Kate in January, we were sent a link to a yahoo group for families that have adopted children from Fuzhou City Social Welfare Institute. We found a group of families that had a wealth of knowledge about both Fuzhou and Nanchang; all those "been there, done that" families sharing their experiences.

We also found that they get together each summer. Hold a reunion of sorts for all these children that called Fuzhou City home. They pick a different location each summer for their reunion weekend, LaLaFuLooza. So cute!

For the 2008 Fu-Fete, Atlantic Beach, NC was the chosen location. Perfect! Friday night was a pizza party at a fabulous park in Morehead City. Loads of fun crafts, an amazing playground and fun music for dancing. Saturday morning Phil and Alex took surfing lessons while Kate and I boogie-boarded and splashed in the surf. Saturday night was a banquet at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores. What a perfect venue for a party! We had dinner next to the largest saltwater tank in NC, with all the fishys swimming past. We learned about the aquarium's logger head turtle relocation assistance program and met one of their baby turtles. There was more dancing.

Kate tugged on many heart strings with her excited cries of "Kate's house in China" when she saw pictures on video screens of Fuzhou City SWI. As we were leaving the aquarium that night she grabbed my hand, pointed to the screen and said "Kate's house in China because . . ." and then fell silent. We hugged for a while. Then as we were leaving the building she asked again, "let's go home?"