I am safe and sound on China soil. I arrived at the University this morning and this is my first time to get to sit down and write an update. I tried to access facebook and my blog, but the internet here would not allow me to access either. I hope to have my computer set up and running within the next couple days allowing me to access both. Highlights of my trip thus far...
*Having a personal escort (Susan and Josephine) all the way on to the plane in Chicago. Then sitting in luxurious business class enjoying delicious food and lots of leg room. :) It was such a blessing!
*being in CHINA!!! (I still can't believe it!)
*Meeting many "friends" along the way of traveling who speak English and have kept me company. Whenever I had a moment of feeling alone, God provided a friend to come be with me. Those friends include a Jewish rabbi, a single lady from China currently living in Indiana, and two young chinese students working at the Hilton Beijing Airport.
*Seeing mountains in Beijing - I'm still not sure what they were, but they were a beautiful suprise.
* Walking into my own little apartment - it's quirky, it's small, there's only hot water a couple hours in the morning and evening...I love it!
*Riding the bus on my own, with no Chinese & English speaking friend, at the airport. I felt very independent...and slightly self-conscious. :)
*Meeting all the other foreign teachers at the University who are friendly, kind and excited to have another teacher here! "Are you the new teacher?...Bethany? Right?!"
*I'm still also in awe at how different everything is. The landscape, the language, the smells are all so...different.
I'm excited about getting into the classroom. I sat in on a class this afternoon which was fun to see what it will be like. It is mid-terms here (I know, I just got here) and so I believe the plan is for me to begin on Monday. I'll know more details tomorrow.
There are a million jillion things running through my head. I feel exhausted, excited, and nervous all mixed together. The people here are easy to get along with and seem eager to help. I feel supported. Besides the usual feelings of jet lag, I feel fine physically. My brain is shutting down, so maybe I should stop writing. :)
But first off - THANK YOU for all the prayers and support! I have felt very protected and cared for along the way. The words of encouragement some of you gave me was a good reality check when I had some doubtful moments on the plane. Thank you.
I'll try my darndest to keep on top of writing.
p.s. Mailing Address is as follows:
Sias International University
168 E. Renmin Lane
Henan Province 451150
CHINA (you don't have to use all caps, i just get excited).