Ni Hao from China
Ni Hao means hello, or literally, “you good.”
I tried to send this while in China without success. This is because the internet is very different in China. You cannot access sites like Facebook or Google. You cannot use Gmail. And surfing the web is frustrating at best because many sites are blocked. To get around this, and to be able to stay in touch with family back home, I used a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Even with a VPN I was unable to get into my website and blog to create a post. So, I am writing to you now to say Ni Hao.
My journey to China began December 21, 2016
First I needed to get to Colorado so my daughter, Alicia and I could prepare for the long trip. I arrived in CO on December 18th. We had a few days to get some supplies and repack our suitcases. We planned to pack light and I am so glad we did.
After getting up at 4am, we began with the 5:45 am flight from Colorado Springs to Denver, and then Denver to San Francisco.
Our flight to Beijing left at 11:00am from San Francisco. It is difficult to describe this 12-hour sardine can experience other than I wish we could have upgraded out of coach seating. I was never so crowded and uncomfortable in my life on a flight.
Neither of us slept.
We arrived in Beijing at 3:30Pm the next day, weary and worn but pumped knowing that we were closer to Gotcha Day. Our guide met us at the airport and then escorted us to the Sun Dynasty Hotel. We made it. In one piece. And each with one piece of luggage. We were traveling light.
Sightseeing and Adjusting to the Time Difference
The next two days we saw some of the Beijing sites: We climbed The Great Wall at Juyong Pass, toured The Forbidden City, dodged panhandlers in Tiananmen Square, and braved the Chinese version of Wal-Mart to get baby supplies.
This time of touring in the morning and resting in the afternoon helped to readjust our clocks to China time. We were fifteen hours different from Colorado time and felt every moment of it dragging on our eyelids.
My favorite part of sightseeing was the rickshaw tour of the Hutong. These are the old neighborhoods of Beijing which have been disappearing as China has grown and built massive buildings on their sites. They are now preserving what’s left because of the heritage of old China.
Our rickshaw driver was about 70-years old and peddled like a madman to pass the other rickshaws in our group. His contagious laughter showed another side of the competitive nature of the Chinese people. He was great fun!
We went by rickshaw to a local family’s home and they served us the most delicious lunch. It was the best meal in China. Their hospitality was humbling as they served us dish after dish of local foods. I felt treasured in their home.
Expressing Thanks: XieXie
We gave our thanks, and rickshawed it all the way back to our bus. I took the gnarled hands of our funny rickshaw driver and said, thank you. In Chinese, that is, XieXie.
This experience of stepping out of our comfort zone and into another time zone, gave me a new appreciation of those to who travel to serve in foreign places. I am thankful for God’s strength and provision.
Ni Hao from China…and I am so glad to be home,
You can still contribute to Alicia’s Adoption fund here
And, you can assist with my travel expenses as God leads via paypal.
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Visit China Virtually and the backpack I carried: