Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Great Wall

Today started of pretty iffy. We had to meet our guide downstairs at 8:00 for our Great Wall Tour, so that meant that we had to wake up MinMin before she was ready. That is never a good idea. It also meant that we had to hurry through breakfast, as we were moving to a hotel across the street that had internet access. So, by 8:00, we were finally in the van with one not very happy girl. The drive across Beijing was long, with lots of traffic. We drove by the new Birds Nest stadius, but the road closest to it was closed for a marathon. Soon we saw hundreds of runner going down the road. We picked up a young couple at the university. He is a student here from Indonesia, and she was here on holiday from Indonesia visiting him. Turns out, we find out during the day, that they are Christians, and we had a good visit with them.

We had a good guide today, but one thing that is hard for MinMin when we have guides is that they like to tell her how lucky she is, isn't she excited that she gets to go to America? And, did she know that she looks like a boy? They aren't very tactful. She really doesn't need to be told how lucky she is. What they don't stop to think about is that she is leaving the only home she has ever known, and she school and friends, and going with people she can't even talk to. Please be praying for her/us on Monday afternoon, night your time, Tuesday morning our time, as we head to the airport to begin the flight home.

The drive to the Mutianyu Great Wall was 1 1/2 hours, with a stop at a local jade factory/shop. From there we drove to the wall, and MinMin got more and more animated the closer we got. We rode a cable car up the mountain, and she thought that was quite fun. We spent about 1 1/2 hours walking up the mountain on the wall. Some of the steps were STEEP--made the steps of the Pyramids in Mexico seem like nothing! We had a great time taking pictures, and MinMin seemed to enjoy the visit to this stop that she would have read about in her history books over the years. She raced up the steps, like most kids her age do, and thought it was funny that she had to wait for us at each level.

There were hundreds of people at the wall today--and it was amazing to hear all of the different languages--Spanish, German, Indian, French, Chinese and who knows how many others.

Going back down the mountain was a lot of fun, too. There is a toboggan ride that curves back down the mountain. It was great, and MinMin grinned all the way down.

Next was dinner, and touring another factory/shop, then 1 1/2 hours back to the city, which took longer, as there was a 3 car accident on the highway. Last stop was a tea shop, so we got in another tea ceremony, which I enjoyed. Actually, MinMin seemed to enjoy it today much more than last week.

As we drove back through Beijing we were able to drive near the Birds Nest stadium, as well as many other new stadiums that have been built for the Olympics. We also drove next to the Olympic Village, where the athletes will stay. We had blue sky all day, which I know they are hoping to have for the Olympics next year.

I think that is it for now. I need to repack all of our bags to distribute the weight better, and see if we have room to do any more shopping tomorrow!


Robin said...

Starla, I'm sure it isn't easy for MinMin to hear over and over again how lucky she is. Just keep telling her how lucky and blessed you are to have her as a daughter. She'll be ok. I'm sure after growing up in the orphange, she's tougher then you think. The boy thing she will just have to grow out of bit by bit. Remember how I always looked like a boy at that age? I even had nearly the same haircut. I'm sure some time with LiAnne, Mandy, Rose and the other girls, will help with that. Hang in there. You are doing a wonderful thing here. One day she will look back and thank you for loving her enough to give her the home she will grow to love.

Tiffaney said...

Just wanted to say hi and remind you that we are all praying for you and for your plane ride home. Min Min looks beautiful when she smiles and I'm sure that even if she can't say thank you for everything now one day soon she will. Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday. Safe and Speedy travels. Love Tiffaney and Barry

Christy said...

The picture of MinMin smiling on the bed playing cards made me cry. She is so beautiful and courageous. I'm so happy she's finally with her awesome parents.

May our God of comfort and hope continue to be with you all. May He bring a peace to Janelle's soul that she's never experienced.

dds-Mia and Ava. 3 and 2 yo. both Jiangxi.

debbie Tsoukalas said...

I have followed your blog every day and I'm fasinated about your journey. My husband and I pray for you daily. You are truly guided by Christ. The good that you are doing is God's will and He is surely pleased with your work.

Diana said...

I have followed your amazing journey and I wanted to thank you for sharing it with us. I will pray that the transition to the US and the rest of the family goes well for MinMin!


Donna Johnson said...

Richard, Starla, and MinMin,
We just got back from our weekend retreat and enjoyed getting all caught up on your adventure. So happy to see the beautiful photos and the SMILES! We will be praying you home and can't wait to hear how it goes when MinMin meets the rest of the family!

God bless you, Dan & Donna

Chelley said...

Sounds like your day went well in the end!! It is so good to hear that each day it a little better than the next!!

In case you dont post again before you leave I am wishing you all the very best for your trip home!!

Cant wait to hear how it went!!

Sandra said...

She smiles!! Yeah! We knew she would.

God bless!!

Carolena said...

Good for people to know.