We are 19 days away from blasting off to China. 4 months ago, when I first suggested that we should move to China, Tenille filed away the suggestion where most of my suggestions go – in the dumpster… As time went on, my manager approved the trip, my manager’s manager approved the trip, and finally, my manager’s manager’s manager approved the trip… I don’t think Tenille fully believed that we were going until a few weeks ago when our plane tickets were booked, and we got a confirmation for a Chinese apartment for 6 months. Last week, it hit her like a dump truck. There was a moment of sheer panic. It took a few days for us to collect ourselves. Tenille printed out 4 pages (single spaced, 3 columns) of things that need to be done or packed over the next month. Enthusiastically, I asked what I could do. Interestingly enough, I was only qualified to do 4 things out of the 100’s of items –
Take down the Christmas lights, pack software, pack DVDs, pack books for Caleb. As far as I know, I’m all done. Tenille, on the other hand, is only 75% done… I just give her my most encouraging smile, and try not to make her feel like she’s not carrying her weight… (Don’t be surprised if this part of the blog is suddenly missing.)
Since we’ve told people that we’re heading to China, we’ve gotten a lot of people’s preconceptions of what China would be like… For instance, some friends were afraid that there would be a lot of smoking and spitting… Some people thought it’d be very dirty. Some were curious about the air quality…. Personally, I’m wondering how we’ll get along in a country where we can’t read/write nor speak … It’s our goal to try and document our trials and experiences through this blog. If you have questions or things you are curious about, email us. We’ll try our best to be team China Mythbusters… (or confirmers)…
We are also compiling a list of things we want to see and experience while we’re there. If you have suggestions or thoughts, just let us know! Right now, it’s what you’d see on any typical tourist list: Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Beijing Zoo (Pandas), Olympics venues, and Terra Cotta Warriors (in Xian). We’re also looking forward to the food. Perhaps more accurately, I’m looking forward to the food and wondering to what limits I can tolerate unfamiliar food. We’re also anxious to see how the church operates in Beijing. We’ll chronicle our most interesting tidbits as we go along.
If you’d like to come for a visit and join us on our adventure, we very much welcome you. I’m sure we’d be so grateful for a familiar face and someone to speak English with. A few things we’ve found that you need for China:
1. Visa – you will likely need a tourist Visa. You can get this within 90 days of your travel. I’d get it about a month before you plan on travelling. It seems like the process takes about a week, but you can pay more to expedite.
2. Immunizations – Hep A, Hep B, Typhoid. Should also check the CDC site for any warnings.
If you do come, don’t pack any sugar-free hot cocoa or macaroni and cheese. We’re bringing an entire suitcase full.