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March 28, 2014 / windlessly

China Chronicles 3.27- Arrival

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Airports are just really, really cool places to be. It’s fun to think about how many people are coming and going, how different and interesting each person’s life is, and just how BIG the world is. There’s a sense of urgency and adventure amid the whole place. I’m writing from a few days after and trying to remember just how I felt getting onto that plane.

It was a nonstop flight from San Francisco to Beijing, so I didn’t have all the usual mess of connections to deal with. I had just come out of an intensive week in Sebastopol, California studying the first half of the book of Mark, at an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship retreat that we endearingly call SpringCon. It was such an incredible blessing to spend that time with IV community- my closest of friends and truly my spiritual family. There was so much love as I was sent out by them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26. 

The flight itself was incredibly fortunate. I pulled an all-nighter at the camp in Sebastopol the night before. On the plane I met and talked with Lia, Sera, and Maura who were on an adoptee missions trip to an orphanage in China. Airplane food was decent, but because I didn’t sleep the entire time, my jetlag was already partially overcome by the time I arrived. The coolest part was that by the time my flight arrived in Beijing and I passed immigrations, five or six Stanford students in the same study-abroad program had all met up.

The Peking University language ambassadors that came to pick us up were incredibly friendly. They introduced themselves right away and could speak English quite well. It was exciting to know that these were authentic PKU students who really wanted to get to know us and help us get settled in. We eventually had dinner with them later on, after we got situated into our rooms.

The Beijing air pollution:

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It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the entire sky is gray with an eternal fog. (Well, not eternal, since the PKU ambassadors did say that the smog cleared significantly with rain or wind). It was quite the shock coming from sunny California. But it’s totally a part of the culture. The PKU students joked about the pollution in their introductions, but assured us that they’ve been here for quite some time and have been perfectly fine. I’ll give my verdict after 10 weeks here, but I’m not worried at all. It’s such an exciting feeling to be in a new place! Riding on the coach bus from the airport to PKU brought me back to nostalgic days traveling around Taiwan the summer before Stanford (incidentally, also recorded in my blog here). I’m loving every moment of it, though. Housing accommodations and moving into our international student dorms all went smoothly. Slept like a log. God’s certainly been giving me a non-stop adventure ever since SpringCon, but I’m determined to live it to the fullest.

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One Comment

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  1. logo3141 / Mar 29 2014 6:19 pm

    Do not loose every individual dot. Connect the dots and wait to see the beautifule picture it will come out.

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