What It's all about!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow Internet and our 4th country!

So here we are again - this time in Manila, Philippines! After what was suppose to be a quick trip and get here with plenty of time to see a little of Manila, ended up being a rather long trip, with a 45 minute delay on the airplane before taking off. After finally getting here at 5:30, we discovered a strike of some kind going on and all traffic at a complete halt for another 45 minutes or so, then on to our hotel.  After getting to the hotel - we discover that although they claimed to have wifi! Nope no sir. They had super duper slow computers in the lobby of the hotel - no can do! We have 6 laptops going constantly and 6 iphones usually tweeting or FBing or something. So we loaded our 24 pieces of luggage back into our van and headed around the corner to our final destination The City Garden Hotel. BUT don't let that confuse you! It is indeed a really nice hotel - with wifi that is fairly fast - BUT walking outside at 10 at night, not the best choice.  Soon discovered we are gaining a track record for finding hotels in the "red" districts of big cities!! hahaha - So you just hide out in your room at night, and they don't seem to bother you!  Can't wait to start filming beautiful families tomorrow! That will help boost our opinions of the Philippines I'm sure!! :)

Soooo - we spent 2 full days in the beautiful city of Hong Kong! I loved Hong Kong and would love to get back there to visit again soon.  The contrast with the 1000's of high rise apartment buildings was really quite something to behold.  Some buildings that were years and years old which was very evident.  Others brand new and beautiful and obviously very expensive to live in, both standing side by side in this amazing city.
Just flying in late at night, the view was spectacular. The buildings and dark green hillsides, all reflecting in the bay was stunning.

We had 4 great family shoots.  Day one - after the dad got home from work, and their 2 cute little kids, in a really tiny apartment on the 14th floor.  The two apartments that we went in to shoot were both so very little. Probably about 500-700 sq. ft.  Kitchens that you could barely turn around in. Bedrooms that are smaller than my closet (and I don't have a very big closet).  All apt. complexes are heavily guarded with security guards and they all have on their front doors these big steel bar'd gates.  I did wonder how they would ever get their furniture up there, and through the really small hallways that lead into their houses.  It was a pretty crazy sight.

Most people in Hong Kong are very friendly, and many speak English. Especially the kids because they all learn English in school.  Interesting fact in one of the kids class that we went talked to, she was 9 and in Hong Kong the native language is Cantonese, but in school they teach Mandarin and English. Since China began ruling over Hong Kong again, and China speaks Mandarin, they don't like the kids speaking Cantonese, and therefore if they get caught speaking Cantonese, they get in trouble.
Many of the kids speak all three languages and can get some of them mixed up a bit.
I was so very impressed with the kids and their English. So clear and without much accent.

Hong Kong to me felt very safe, and really pretty clean. It was much more hilly than I envisioned, and so  very very green. It was fun driving around town in taxi's so that we could see the beautiful and diverse city.  We did however take the train a few times, and it was really clean and very new looking.

I wish we had had time to get to Hong Kong island and see all the fun tourists sites. BUT with 2 short photo days per country, that just doesn't happen.

Summary - We loved Hong Kong! Loud fun people! The cutest tour guide ever - Clover Cheng! She was a pocketsize firecracker.  Food, eh not my favorite, but was okay.  Once again beautiful families, adorable kids, fun pictures, Mr. Steve's amazing eye, catching Hong Kong and its beauty. Good times, ohhh and a really great contact - Perry Ho - our 2nd family shoot. Perry is happy to help us find the right printer for our books!!! Good news all around. AND - the best part, Perry and his wife Elsa, who actually live in mainland China, I think started this little organization that is a traveling library, and are ALWAYS looking for book donations - especially books teaching English!!

So far we are 4 for 4 to be able to donate books in each country.


Me again - with the slow internet I have not uploaded this yet - hopefully tonight.  We have had a great time in the Philippines. I will blog from our next country to report. This last day here was fabulous! All families were so happy to help, and it is so evident that they are such a happy people! As you will see in all of the amazing photos!

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