Day 1: Getting There
Saturday, July 9, 2005
It is 9:30 p.m. on Saturday the 9th here in China, and we have finally reached our first destination – the city of Shanghai. Since we left our various homes early Friday morning, we have spent a total of about 29 hours (17 of them in the air) getting to this YMCA in downtown Shanghai. We had a bit of a layover in Beijing – not enough to see anything, but enough to bore us – and a representative of the China Christian Council in Beijing, Brother Liu, took good care of us and made sure we got safely onto our connecting flight. Now that our little pilgrims are safely tucked into bed, I can share our first day with you.
When we arrived in Shanghai we were, quite obviously, exhausted and although our guide, Cathy Zhang, suggested a walk on the Bund (the historic waterfront) and a stroll on Nanjing Road (a great shopping district in Shanghai, just LOADED with neon lights of every color and shape and design), our little group was much too exhausted. As a consolation, our driver took us on a driving tour of that area and alas -- even then – we slept through it all.
The minor disaster of the day was not something that occurred with one of the kids, but with me – so punchy was I when we landed in Beijing, that in attempting to get some Yuan (Chinese currency) from the ATM, I kept answering the PIN number prompt with my cell phone PIN. No matter how sure you are of yourself, if you do something like that three times, the machine confiscates your card and won’t give it back. Well, Harold will be happy that I won’t be doing any damage to our account!
The rest of the night was spent checking in, getting oriented, showering, and preparing for Sunday’s activities. Our itinerary tells us that we’ll have an early breakfast here at the Y, and then attend worship at one of Shanghai’s larger churches. After lunch we’re scheduled to meet with a representative of the YMCA who will talk about the youth programs here, and Cathy has invited a couple of young friends to visit with our kids and share stories. The afternoon will be spent sightseeing and then boarding the train for Nanjing. It’s quite a full schedule, but we have to cover 5 cities in ten days, and we won’t want to miss a thing!
We all hope all is well back in our beautiful country, and we can feel your loving thoughts and prayers surrounding us as we share in this new and wonderful experience. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures and, in the meantime, God’s love be with you all.
Megan Weymouth and
Dana Baker, Pam Koller, Peggy Matteson, Daniel McDuffie, Alicia Perras, and Joe Tripp