September 25 (Hong Kong, SAR (Special Admin. Region) of PRC)
I’m an uncle!!!!! I received word the other day that my nephew, Garrett Xavier Moore, was born on Friday September 20, 2002 at 6:24pm (EST) and is a healthy 7lb. 11.5oz. 20″ long baby. I am sooo excited!!! When I was in Shanghai on the 21st – 12 hours ahead of home so it was still the 20th there – I was thinking of Garrett and wondering if he’d arrived yet so I bought him a present not knowing that he was born not more than 10hrs. prior. I bought him a framed picture that has a Chinese phrase on it that means “Grow up to be a useful person.” It’s very nice and I think it will look great wherever the new mom and dad decide to put it.
In the days between Shanghai and Hong Kong the 100, or so, students and staff that didn’t go to Beijing basically watched movies, sunbathed, read, and were treated to 2 sit-down dinners complete with 4-5 courses and Filet Mingnon as the main dish. And I must say, it was perhaps the most tender piece of meat I’ve had in a very long time.
Hong Kong is a great city. Like Kobe, it’s quite modern and Westernized – obviously because of the former British presence here. Today was spent on Lantau Island – the largest island in Hong Kong. It is very much an “old world” area. Though it now has a fairly modern airport on one end, the majority of the island is mountainous and green and full of little fishing villages and monastaries. We visited the Po Lin Monastary, which is the home of the world’s tallest, seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue. It sits high atop a hill overlooking the entire area, with quite the impressive view. With the smell of incense still on my clothes from the grounds of the monastary I walked up the 200-some-odd steps to see the Buddha. It is an awe-inspiring sight, indeed. The stillness and grandeur of the place is amazing. It will surely be remembered as one of my favorite places.