Beijing Day 2 was a lot of fun but a lot colder than Day 1. We started out the morning and went to Tianamen Sqaure. It should not be surprising that the "C" government has sequestered much of the history around what happened with the student protests here. Michael (our guide) was familiar with it only from what he was told by Westerners.
Next we went to the Pearl market that our friends suggested. Our friends Ed and Beverly Hay (the people that put on the pearl shows on our behalf) buy all their pearls directly from "PeiPei" here in Beijing. We got to meet her today and she made a beautiful set of saltwater pearls for Linnea. What a precious gift from this lady. LeighAnn was joking with me that even she didn't have salt water pearls. We plan to wait to give these to Linnea on her wedding day (hopefully a LONG time from now!!).
|LeighAnn with PeiPei at the Pearl Market|
|Making the necklace|
|The finished product|
We grabbed some McDonalds for lunch (not our first choice but our guide suggested it so we went along with him). Then we headed to the airport. We went early which I am glad we did as it took 1.5 hours just to get our tickets. I usually do not like to be at the airport two hours in advance as I dislike sitting so long at the gate. However, in a foreign Country, three hours was fine for me. If we had just planned on two hours, I don't think we would have made it to the gate on time. Well, one exception, our flight was seriously delayed due to weather so we would have been fine. Many flights were cancelled because of the heavy fog. I have never seen fog so thick. Beijing is between a couple mountain ranges so they do not get a lot of wind to blow the wind and fog from the city. Add pollution and you have some thick air.
Our flight finally left around 9:30pm and we got in around 12:45am. Another guide picked us up and a couple other families that are adopting and we headed for the hotel. Miko is our guide ...a young college age student who speaks good English and is of course fluent in Mandarin. She gave us a rundown of what Sunday and Monday would look like from a scheduling standpoint and then helped us get checked in once we arrived. The hotel is very nice. As LeighAnn may have mentioned in a previous post, China pretty much has nice hotels and bad hotels, nothing really in the middle such as Courtyards, Hampton Inn's, etc! One guide put it this way to us....you either have a nice hotel or you sleep with the roaches and the big rats (your choice!). Very thankful our agency chose the first!
This morning we woke up late (9am) which felt great. We skyped the kids who are down at the beach with my parents. Then we went to breakfast which is a popular meal for Chinese people. There was a huge spread which was great and made us feel right at home. After breakfast we hooked up with the Hord family and went to "Trust Mart" which is their version of Wal-Mart. We saw many of the same Wal-mart brands there so this place feels comfortable. We purchased some bottled water and a couple bathing soaps for Linnea and then we headed back to the hotel.
(The Hord family is also adopting from Lifeline and their little girl Charlotte is also from the Maoming orphanage. They live in Columbus, GA and we have become good friends in this process. On a side note, their little girl was crib mates with Ruthie Grubbs at the orphanage, Wade and Natalie Grubbs little girl)
We are now sitting here reading and killing some time. This day is moving slowly as we are ready for tomorrow to get here. We have breakfast in the morning, then a meeting at 11am in which we will get the final details of what we need to bring, etc and then off to the Civil Affairs office which is 20 minutes away for our appointed time to get Linnea at 2:30pm. For our friends in GA (EST), that will be Sunday night (or actually early Monday morning) at 2:30am! So maybe before you go to sleep Sunday night, you can say a little prayer for us and Linnea!
For our Church friends...wow, we miss worshiping with you today. I wish our music was recorded so we could hear that but we can at least pull some music from our iPod and then listen to Justin's sermon online once it is posted. Very thankful that we feel connected this way plus just knowing others are going through the Bible reading plan as well 7000 miles away is neat. Being this far away makes me even more mindful of our M's from Berachah and elsewhere that are doing His work across the lands. They are this far away from their family, friends and familiarities throughout many more months and years.
Well, that's all for now. We pray that you have a wonderful day of worship!