Sunday, October 25, 2009


What a day we had yesterday... We haven't adjusted to the time yet, so we were up at 4:00 AM the last two days. So here's what happened yesterday.

First Stop: Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. The sheer size was much greater than anticipated: From Tianamen Square through the Forbidden City was several miles long. I would guess there were over 100,000 people there. There were about 10,000 people in line to see the tomb of Chairman Mao. It is very difficult to believe the Forbidden City is over 600 years old.
It takes a while to adjust to the dense population. Everywhere you go, people are bumping up against you. The roads are crazy. There are no traffic laws, only recommendations.

The Great Wall was amazing. Climbing the Great Wall was a lot harder than it looks. It climbs straight up and down the mountains, so most folks don't make it more than a few hundred yards. By the time we got down, I was DONE.

We also had the opportunity to drive by the Bird's Nest, and the Water Cube. They are much larger in person than I thought they would be. However, neither were more impressive than Beijing Int Airport. It was constructed for the Olympics and is an amazing piece of work.

To add to Donny's post...The Great Wall is VERY difficult to climb. Every step is a different size. Most were about two normal steps high. Some went up to my knee!! And it went STRAIGHT up!! I was impressed with the people that built it and then those that had to walk it all the time. My legs were killing me! Donny made it a bit farther than I did. I think he made it farther than anyone else in our group. He made it to the last tower at the top before the pagoda. He got some amazing pictures up there.

We were in a group of 12 families in Beijing. Everyone is so nice and it was fun being with them all for the day. Nine of them went to one orphanage today and us and two other families went our seperate ways to our own Provinces. We will meet back with them on Saturday in Guangzhou.

Nanning is beautiful (as far as the landscaping goes). There are tons of flowers and flowering trees. It is about the same climate as Miami. Lots of Hibiscus and almond trees. Lots of other flowers that we have in Florida and some we have never seen.

While the landscaping is beautiful, the people here are extremely poor. The housing is very, very poor. It is a huge contrast from Beijing. In fact, besides the traffic and bikes I would not even be able to compare the two. We do love this beautiful city and all of the people. We are humbled by God opening our eyes to the great need here. We are so blessed to live in America.

So tomorrow at 3:30 pm our time (3:30am your time - Monday) Ashlyn will be brought to our hotel for us to finally meet her. We are extremely excited and don't know if we will be sleeping much tonight, her crib is sitting next to one of the beds. She will be taken from her foster family tomorrow morning and then make the three hour drive here to us. Please pray for protection over her precious little heart. This will be the most traumatic day of her life.

Thanks for all of the comments. We love reading them. ~Gretchen

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