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Friday Update: 05/30/08


Oh joy of joys...I was finally able to take a HOT shower this morning!!! The past few mornings it has only been lukewarm, and by lukewarm I mean to say that it is BARELY not freezing. Apparently they only have hot water during certain hours of the day, and we haven't been able to see a pattern of when they have it on or off...so it's a crap shoot. I was prepared to wait a little longer for the hot water to come on, but when I went to wash my hands and felt the warm water I grabbed my stuff and quick hopped in the shower. They also have times during the day when they turn the water off completely, and we've also not seen a pattern there...just went to wash my hands and capooey...no water. They also did turn the air conditioner on to the building, but they've only been running it from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM...after that, you just get a fan blowing room air. AND they only run it Monday through Friday...so on the weekends you're screwed! Thankfully, we only have one left! Today is nice out, and we have the window open and are getting a nice breeze, so no need for the AC. Yesterday it was warmer and so windy that having the windows open you could almost feel the grit and grime blowing through. It is so incredibly dusty here...and DIRTY. This picture was taken out the window near the hospital...not sure what this area is, a dumping ground of some sorts...but people walk through it all the time on their way to different parts of the hospital.
I'm telling ya, it's a WHOLE different world.

Today Matt had his last cupping and massage treatments. On Saturdays they only do the herbal soaks and morning acupuncture, along with exercise. I'm going to take the camera tomorrow and try to get more pictures of Matt with different doctors and other patients. Today we said good-bye to Edmond and Barbara, the Polish couple Matt had spent some time with. I think we are the next to leave, along with Linda (next door) on Sunday.
I've been trying to work through the details of how we will settle up with the hospital, and while I'm sure it will all work itself out, it is frustratingly unorganized as usual. China is also a cash society, meaning they expect you to have wads of cash on you to pay bills etc...and I remember being cornered the last time I went to leave by the restaurant people, wanting me to pay for my food for the week. And naturally, no one had told me that I would need to do this. So, this time I am trying to be prepared. I have withdrawn money twice from the ATM at the bank (the one they installed here in the hospital is not for us to use, of course) and I'm hoping I will have enough cash to pay our final hospital bill and be done with it.

Matt and I were talking about how happy we will be to land in Chicago and be back to the USA!! While it has been an experience, and interesting to see this place...we are so ready to get back to the fresh, clean air of Iowa...and to be surrounded by voices speaking our own language. You simply cannot know how unnerving it is to be surrounded by others speaking a language you can't even begin to understand, while they look at you, point, laugh, and talk, talk, talk...until you've been around it. It's not the most pleasant feeling. I feel so ready to get back home after just a few days, I can't imagine how exited Matt is!


I put a few more videos online at YouTube.com today...one of the scene out the gym window and another of Matt's morning acupuncture.

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