Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Wall of China

Although we were up very early today (6am), we didn't really get moving until almost 11. We ate breakfast, did some homework (including dissecting owl pellets- thanks Mrs. Black!), and hung out in the room for most of the morning, then walked down the street to a mall. Our first impression of China was that it's really not much different from the US. Sure the language is different, but the buildings are familiar, and many of the stores and restaurants are US chains. KFC is HUGE here (more than 100 in Beijing alone), and the mall was filled with stores like The GAP, Subway, and Dairy Queen. Walking around outside the mall was a little more interesting, but still not at all like we had imagined China to be.
Our impressions changed when we left the downtown area with our guide to go see the Great Wall. As we got out of the business district and into the more historical areas, we saw the crowds and the traffic that we had expected. We drove past many impoverished areas and I found myself thinking about the children in those neighborhoods. We don't know where Mollie was born, or what her parents' situation was like, but I always imagine that they were poor, and couldn't afford to give her the care that she needed. I'm in awe of our God who can connect a poor orphan with her forever family and change not only her life but the lives of countless others who will come to know her.
It took over an hour to reach the Badaling section of the Wall. It was very crowded today because of the Chinese New Year. We climbed for almost an hour. "Climbing" entails walking up very steep sections and climbing hundred of uneven stairs. It was much more strenuous than I imagined, and I was impressed by the very old and the very young who were climbing it with us.
When we left the Wall, we drove by the Olympic Center and saw the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. Then our guide took us to a "traditional Chinese tea house," which we soon discovered was more like a "traditional Chinese tourist trap." Still, despite the pressure to buy the overpriced tea, we enjoyed the experience.
Perry has taken the girls to the pool, and then we're going to bed early. We're all exhausted and tomorrow will be another busy day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


mbcfree said...

I just discovered your blog thru a friend. I'm so excited for your family and I'm thrilled that "Cami" gets to go to a wonderful family. I requested her file many months ago but was told that her file had been locked by another family. I pouted but was genuinely happy for her. Now that I know that she is going home with a great family I am truly happy and grateful. I pray you have a wonderful trip in China and please know that someone has been praying for your daughter for a long time. God Bless

Janet said...

So glad to know you've been praying for her. I hope you've found your daughter!