Today we left Beijing to travel to Nanning. Our guide in Beijing wanted to leave an extra 30 minutes earlier then scheduled and I am glad he did because by the time we got to the airport, through all of the lines and found our gate, our plane had already started boarding. Our flight was about 3 hours long. About an hour into our flight, we finally got past the Beijing smog to see the ground below us. When we were talking to our guide in Beijing, he said that the government tells them that it is all fog and that the air is fine and apparently most people believe that. He said a few people are just starting to understand that it is smog and probably not the best air quality.
On our descent into Nanning, Ted noticed a strange thing. If you are in an airplane over Minnesota and Iowa you can see nice straight square fields. Here in China the fields are all different shapes and sizes. They fit together tightly like a puzzle – even when they don’t have to wind around lakes or rivers or hills.. Anyway, we landed in Nanning and I cannot believe how beautiful it is. Green everywhere….trees, flowers, everything green. There was not much green in Beijing, but Nanning makes up for it. Our guide here said that the government wants Nanning to be known as the Green City or the Water City. And one thing that amazes me here (and also in Beijing) is that the streets are so clean. Everything is so clean. I think they must wash the streets and sidewalks.
In Nanning they are still using some of the traditional architecture – even on their new buildings. We saw plenty of newer buildings in Beijing, but we did not see any new ones with the fancy curved roofs.
Nanning at night – the view from our hotel.
We get to meet our girls tomorrow (Monday) at 3:30 in the afternoon. This is about 2:30AM early Monday morning for those of you back home (central time). It seems weird that this is finally going to be happening for real. Please pray that this transition goes as smoothly as possible. I’m sure it will be really hard for the girls. They will be leaving behind everyone and everything they know to start a new life with complete strangers who talk different, look different, and act different. The girls will say goodbye to their fostor family earlier in the day and a social worker will bring them to the Civil Affairs office to meet us. I’m guessing the hand off will take an hour or two (although I’m not sure) then we get to bring them back to our hotel.
When we were talking with our guide about our schedule we found out that we get to have a tour of the orphanage on Thursday. I know our girls did not stay there for very long, only 3 months when they were 2-5 months old but there might be a chance that the foster mom would come for a visit too and that would be such a blessing. We will continue to pray that she will be there so we can maybe get her on video for the girls.
On a side note, I continue to feel sick. I am not sure what it is but I am having sharp pains in my abdomen and it continues to make this trip a bit miserable. I felt good yesterday when we went to the Wall but other than that I have been in a lot of pain. It actually started in the Minneapolis airport. We are hoping the pain will go away and I can enjoy meeting and caring for our girls during the rest of the trip.