Friday, October 28, 2011

East Asia Trip Report- Land of Hard Sleepers and Soft Hearts: Part 1

Dear friends,

Finally a chance to give you a more complete report about my trip! I was in East Asia for 20 days. My first week had an absolutely amazing opportunity to do "discipleship tourism." Wade, Greg's cousin, his son, Josh, (pictured here with me on the "B" section of the Great Wall) and I made up the tour group, and got to see sights in and around Beijing and hear their history from a Christian perspective. It was fantastic to hear what had happened at these places. I was grateful that there was a bathroom at the top of this climb at Tower #5! I was praying for a miracle and there it was! This really was as steep as it looks. My broken toes seemed to handle it OK.
Me and Josh at the "G" section of the Wall.
A welcome sight (at least the bottom part). The English wording on signs is often interesting.
Notice the bricks the wall is made of. We learned that families living in the villages near the construction of the Great Wall were required to make a quotient of bricks out of clay, ash for the Wall.  When their bricks were brought, the overseer shot an arrow at them from a certain distance away. If the arrow penetrated the brick more than an acceptable amount, the entire family was killed. I had heard that many had lost their lives making the Wall, but I didn't know this was how! Can you imagine? Also, our guide told us that the Wall was never actually used for defence. None of it, ever! One time there as a battle at the foot of it, but it had no part in defense.
Here is a close up of some of those bricks.
Here is one of about 30 such meals I had while in China. I hardly ever saw the same food twice. Sometimes we had 4 entrees, and one time 14! I seriously could live on Chinese food! It is amazing as long as it isn't spicy. I don't do spicy well!
We went to see the Celestial Temple. This is a place emperors were required to go to say prayers to "The God of Heaven," the "Imperial God," and to give sacrifices in order for the harvest to be blessed. Read the sign below...

This walkway through the grounds of the Celestial Temple grounds was divided by these white lines to mark where everyone should walk. Only the Eternal God himself was allowed in the middle. The emperor walked on one side and the officials walked on the other side. This was to help remind the emperor that even he was subservient to a greater power.
Flower displays like this are placed all over the city.

We stayed in a chain hotel that whole week and 1/2. The beds are pretty hard and we finally figured out that they were just box springs! If you want a soft bed, you have to stay at a 4 or 5 star hotel. I remembered this from last year and brought a down throw that rolled us very small and brought it with me. I used the covers for padding and then used my blanket on top. At least it was a little softer! It was hot outside and I only wore my sweater a few times in Beijing, and wished for more summer clothes.
Our friends made sure we got to see the Olympic Park. Last year I was 1 mile away from the Bird's Nest and couldn't even see it because of the smog. It was clear when we went this time and it was impressive inside and out!
We got to go in and "feel" the inside of the place. It was really an experience imagining the Olympics in there. I had seen the opening exercises and to see it filled me with awe.
We got to go in and "feel" the inside of the place. It was really an experience imagining the Olympics in there. I had seen the opening exercises and to see it filled me with awe.

There was a video playing that showed the opening exercises of the Olympics with the sounds of applause, etc. 100,000 people can sit in there at a time. And all the seats are good seats!

Josh and I are in front of the water cube where the Olympic pools are. Behind you see an interestingly shaped building. It is built to look like the fire on the Olympic torch. 
Right next to the Bird's Nest is the Olympic Torch. 
As we walked along the Olympic Park, there are beautiful displays of flowers and pieces of art that have been donated by various countries. Along the way are fun signs to enjoy like these. Below see the art that was donated by the USA.
The subway station at the end of the Olympic Park looks like the theme of the Bird's Nest. Very cool!

This is all for now. I will enter another post later with details about a few other touring things and then the training! I hope you enjoyed the report so far!  God Bless You!   Nancy Fritz         509-990-8465

No comments: