One year ago, here it what was happening in our lives... in China!
September 5, 2008
Yea!! We made it! Wow! That's about the only nice thing I can say about that plane ride. (Gotta keep the testimony up! )
It could have been worse! There... that's another nice thing!
I have a splitting headache because my body thinks that it's 11 am and it needs it's coffee. But, my China clock says it 11 pm. So, I am going to get to bed!
However, I do have to mention that it is obvious people are praying for me! I felt it all day! I was so peaceful. Meet up with a family in Detroit that I had met on line. We traveled the rest of the way together. In Tokyo, we met an amazing older gentlemen and his wife. I heard her pray the sweetest prayer, out loud, with her eyes open about getting to her hotel and the Lord surrounding her. How can that not bring one peace?? They, along with some other family members and friends, were going to go play with kids in an orphanage for two weeks. We had a really fun conversation with them. We also meet an American family whose son is competing in the paraolympics in Beijing.
Tomorrow... Forbidden City and acrobat show! More then! Keep praying! Emme only has 2 more whole days without a mommy and daddy!
September 6, 2008
I have this group of people who are supposed to be praying for us, hopefully everyone is praying everyday. However, I specifically have 14 people- one assigned to each day. And, my question is this, who has Friday?
I wish there were words to describe this day. There are none to suffice.
Whoever it is.... can you pray harder?? I went to bed with a pounding headache. I woke up all through the night with a pounding headache. Paul made me drink a bunch of water this morning- thinking I was dehydrated. I ate a granola bar that I brought and took a sinus pill and some motrin. Then I threw up. Yes, me with the cast iron stomach - not Paul, who throws up all the time. And, now, I can't quit going to the bathroom. I don't know how in the world I am supposed to eat anything this morning. So, please pray! This is not the way I was hoping this would start, but God is bigger than all of this! I know the enemy really wants to get at me!
I will post again later today after we move out and about and actually see some of Beijing- if I can stay out of the bathroom!!:-)
September 6, 2008 Later in the day....
I wish there were words to describe this day. There are none to suffice.
I will say that I always thought I wasn't made for foreign travel... and now I am certain of it. Don't get me wrong. I am going to enjoy every second I am here..... but....
A couple of things... First of all, I don't think that I am sick from the food or anything else in China. I had one of the worst headaches known to man. Paul thought I was dehydrated (Who made him the doctor??) So, he made me drink a lot of water. The water was the only thing I threw up. Then, I get all worked up about not feeling well and being in CHINA and my stomach goes crazy. Hence, the vast amount of time in the bathroom- that's what happens when I get nervous. Sorry for the detail, but I wanted to be clear that it was my nerves and not food.
Next, he thinks we should go eat. Before I go into detail about the eating, why didn't anyone warn me about the smell in China?? And, what in the world is the smell?? It's everywhere! It makes my stomach do flips... and not the good kind of flips. So, we go to eat breakfast in the hotel. I could barely look at the food. I got 2 tiny pieces of french toast and some cereal. I took ZERO bites of anything! The thoughts of the unrecognizable foods combined with the smell... no way I could eat! We were to meet our guide at 10 am in the lobby so I ate 1/2 of a poptart that we brought.
Then we were off to the Forbidden City. It lies to the north of Tiananmen Square and rectangular in shape, Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. 74 hectares is about 1000 miles... at least that's what it felt like. It was interesting and very big!
After the Forbidden City, we went to heaven. Our guide took us to some massage place. It was beautiful. Paul and I were taken into this room with really comfortable chairs and a tv. We had our feet washed and massaged for the next 70 minutes. It was amazing! Then, we left that room and had our neck and back massaged for 30 minutes. Yes, that is 100 minutes of massaging. And, guess how much it cost?? For both of us??? $60 US dollars! And, worth every penny.
It was about 3 pm by then and we hadn't eaten so our guide took us to this restaurant next door to the massage place. I left heaven because that smell smacked me in the face the minute I walked in the door of that restaurant. As were walking to our table we passed lots of things floating in jars. In one of the jars, there were sea horses, lots of them. So, I asked our guide, whose name is Grace, "WHAT IS THAT??"
I gotta tell you, she may speak English, but I don't know what the heck she is saying half of the time. I did get that it is some sort of alcohol... for men. I didn't ask anymore questions. And, those of you who have been here, I know there are things that I am going to see that are far worse than this, but I couldn't even look at the menu. Salted duck liver, duck blood soup... I was done.!! Paul ordered some form of Kung pao chicken and Grace ordered tofu. I ate about 3 bites of rice and one bite of the chicken, while gagging!! I am not sure if I believe anything is really chicken.
After this, we went to an acrobat show. That was amazing! I LOVED IT! I didn't know people could do things like that with there bodies. It was really one of the best live performances I have ever seen. But, the smell, yep! It was there too!
We were dropped off at our hotel for the evening. We decided to play frogger down the road to find McDonalds. Someone once said that the traffic rules in China were at best suggestions. Truer words have never been spoken.
We made it to the Golden Arches. The smell had followed us down the street and it too stopped when we stopped. I choked down a cheeseburger. Besides all the reasons listed above as being reasons why I would have to choke something down, I had another reason. Last week when I mentioned to my brother that McDonalds was in China and that would probably be all I could eat... he told me that it was made out of rat meat.
There really are reasons for everything. Now I know why I gained 15 pounds waiting for this little girl! (I am hoping to leave everyone of those pounds here.)
Speaking of little Emme girl, I honestly keep forgetting why I am here. That's why they send us to Beijing first. They have to give us time to get used to the culture shock.
So, we are going to bed. It's 8pm and we are dead. I am typing to the sound of Paul sawing logs while I watch the paraolympics opening ceremony on tv. Yep, there are just down the road. Seems like I shouldn't be watching them on tv.
Tomorrow Emme will spend her last day without a family. We are headed to the Summer Palace and The Great Wall. I wonder if the smell will be there??
P.S. Please don't feel left out if you don't have a day to pray. My friends had a shower for me and everyone signed up for a day. If you don't have a specific day, that means you have to pray everyday. And, as you can see, I need it!
September 7, 2008
10 HOURS LATER!
We left this morning at 9. It is now 7:20pm and we just returned.
We were woken this morning by very loud thunder and pouring rain. I was so sad because I didn't think we'd get to go to the Great Wall.
We ate breakfast in the hotel again. I did much better. I had a few bites of things I couldn't stomach. I had a bite of congee, a bite of fried rice and a bite of cereal. I can't even eat cereal in China because the milk tastes different and it is warm (or at least warmer). I did get down 2 whole egg whites and a piece of bread.
We met our guide in the lobby and we were off to the Great Wall. It took about an hour to get there. By the time we were close, the rain had cleared and the temperature was perfect.
The Great Wall is in a beautiful area with tree lined mountains. The Great Wall is just as magnificent as I had imagined. What I didn't imagine was how difficult it would be to climb. You'd think I'd have a clue because when I run from the basement to the bedrooms upstairs I am sucking wind. I was really sucking wind and my legs were on fire! At the beginning of the area we started climbing, it was about a 90 degree angle. The steps are not even... just to make it a bit more difficult. Some are as easy as taking a normal step while others were like taking giant step after giant step. I think we made it to about the 4th tower up. It got easier as it went up, it wasn't so steep. Coming down, especially the area that was at a 90 degree angle really jarred my knees. They hurt tonight.
After the Great Wall, I was about to eat my own shirt. I was so hungry. I have hardly had anything to eat and climbing that wall took everything out of me. Good thing we were on our way to lunch.
We stopped at some place for shopping and eating. We were able to learn about Cloisonne I have a lot of appreciation for that art now... never really liked them before today.
At lunch, we had a form of Kung Pao chicken again. But this time it was really good. They had also put lots of other things on the table but we didn't touch anything else. Grace, our guide, had also ordered Sweet and Sour Pork for us. I don't eat pork. The rest of the stuff was unrecognizable. I don't eat what I can't recognize. She didn't eat with us and wasn't there so we didn't feel bad not eating it.
After we left that place, we were on our way to the Summer Palace. Now, it's quite obvious that there are many cultural differences between us and the Chinese. The food- that's a big one. I forgot that one of the menu items from the day before was insect heads or something like that. Personal space among cars, bikes, people and buses is non-existent. The Chinese are very patient that way. No one ever seems to get really upset when everyone and everything is converging together. I really like that about them. But, the one thing I will never understand is what I saw when we were almost at the Summer Palace. There was a grassy area with some trees, but it was not an area that was dense with trees. I could see buildings through the trees, etc... But, I did not expect to see a grown man squatting down taking a poop. WHAT IN THE WORLD??? He had to have known people could see him. Have you no shame??? There's nothing else I can say about this so I am just going to move on.
When we got to the Summer Palace, I think I was going to have to resuscitate Paul when Grace said that the Summer Palace was 4 times as big as the Forbidden City. But, the Summer Palace was much better than the Forbidden City. The Summer Palace was beautiful. It was surrounding by beautiful gardens, flowers, a lake... We walked around for 2 hours.
After this, Grace and our driver Trevor (are we supposed to believe these are their real names?) drove us by the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube... very cool to see in person. It's even more impressive then it looks on TV.
Close to this Olympic area, Grace took us to learn how to drink tea properly. Who knew? It was educational. We bought some tea. But, we really only bought the tea because of the free gift that came with the purchase of tea. Let me explain. There is also a proper way to prepare tea. This tea was not made with bags. It's just the leaves. So, the water that needs to be poured over the tea should be about 95 degrees. So, the cute little Chinese girl teaching us about the tea, pulls this little toy boy out of a cup of water. She poured cold water on his head and nothing happened. Then she poured the hot water on his head and he peed it out all over the place. Can you imagine how much Jackson is going to love that? As if he needs anymore encouragement to pee in places he's not supposed to... but we couldn't resist.
Our final stop-Grace and Trevor dropped us off at the 'fake market'. You can buy any name brand you can think of there... I guess it's fake but you could fool me! But, I didn't buy anything because I was a nervous wreck. There were girls in pink shirts everywhere yelling at us to buy things. If they even thought you might be interested they would attack you. Paul kept saying, "Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact!" So, what was the point of being there, we couldn't look. I had had it. I knew it was time to leave when I lost Paul for a minute. I turned around to see him holding a shoe.
He was carrying the camera bag and this girl puts a Nike shoe on the bag. He kept trying to give it back to her and she wouldn't take it. Then she says to him in her broken English, "Take it, it gift."
So he says, "What am I going to do with one shoe?"
To which she replies, "You have to buy the other one!"
I hear him bust a gut, put the shoe down and run for me. All the while she is yelling, "You can't do that!"
Seriously, can you see us in China??
We ate some pizza for dinner and walked back to the hotel. It is 8:12 pm and Paul is again sawing logs. Walking for 8 hours will do that to you!
WELL, TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY. We are getting up at 4am to be picked up by Grace and Trevor at 5:20 am. Our flight is at 7:40 am. I am not sure what time we get Emme, but I am sure by this time tomorrow night, our little angel will be in our room listening to her daddy snore. Until then......
P.S. We will post pictures. If you can believe it, we forgot our cord to download the pictures onto our computer. We bought a cord tonight. So look at this post again so you can see today's pictures of the Great Wall, etc... Don't worry... no pictures of the pooping man!
P.S.S. Today was a great day!! Thanks for praying!