US Consulate Day

Today was the day we finished up all of our official appointments. Now we just have to wait for Owen’s visa to get printed and picked up. We snuck a photo of the family in front of the building sign.

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While this photo may not look as crisp and clear as you may expected, you should know that we are basically outside in the outskirts of Typhoon Nida, which hit the shores of Hong Kong (a 2 hour train ride away) at 4am this morning. Owen has his hand on his head because every time a drop of water hit his head, he would touch his head and make a little sound and laugh, so this picture captures the day pretty well.

Everything in Guangzhou seemed so chill last night, like they weren’t concerned about the incoming typhoon. Back home in the States, people would be freaking out about any trace of a hurricane, so this was unexpected. However, we woke up to find that a lot of places were closed today. Plus, the Consulate was very short-staffed, so while they generally have visas delivered within 24 hours, it may take a bit longer for us to get Owen’s visa. We are hoping this isn’t a problem, since we have train tickets out of Guangzhou for Thursday morning.

Another little factoid about the typhoon. We read that a lot of flights (maybe all?) in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled today, and I’m getting the vibe that maybe by the end of tomorrow they will have the airport chaos straightened out. I’m still anticipating a little bit of extra crazy when we fly out of Hong Kong on Friday. To add to the mess, as of this morning we still didn’t have an assigned seat for Owen for the flight home. Fortunately, we were able to log into the Delta website and we were able to choose the seat. This was quite a relief, especially with the unknowns of the typhoon. I just have to sit back, though, and think about how all of this just makes our story more of an adventure. And it’s not over yet!

As an update to our medical post, prior to this consulate appointment, our guide picked up Owen’s medical report. His hemoglobin levels came out at a 9.3. This is 2.5 weeks after his last transfusion. He has had some pretty intense moments of grieving, but it also seems like he is getting a little more irritable and tired. This is normal for people with thalassemia as their hemoglobin levels drop, but we are just hoping and praying that he can hang in there for the long flights home.

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