Thank you to all of you or your special email notes of encouragement and prayers before I left; you are so kind! I could not sleep Thursday night out of pure excitement, so I was up Friday morning around 4am, and finished packing. At 7am I kissed my girls goodbye and left them with my parents, and my husband drove me to the airport. After checking in my luggage in Portland, I learned at my gate that my flight was delayed to Seattle by one hour, and I would possibly miss my flight to Shanghai that day. I heard my name called almost immediately. I went to the desk and they said they had an earlier flight that was leaving for Seattle before mine was supposed to, and they had one seat left and asked if I wanted it. I of course did not want to risk missing my flight in Shanghai so I said yes, and they rushed me on the plane and it took off within minutes. I was thrilled! 🙂
However, upon arrival in Seattle, I learned that my original flight was in fact for sure very delayed, so I would have missed my flight to China for sure, but they had forgotten to transfer all my luggage 🙂 The next flight to Shanghai was not until the next day. After a long talk with the airlines I decided to keep my flight to Shanghai and I asked the airlines to forward all of my luggage to Xiamen. They said I would have to request that when I got to China. I had to smile and remind myself that this is an adventure and I need to be flexible. God is in control! I was happy to take a short break and call a sweet China family with their travel approval! They hope to leave in a few weeks!
My flight to Shanghai was good, I sat next to a nice man who was traveling to Fuzhou to see his family. He thought it was wonderful what AGCI was doing in Xiamen for the orphanage. He said that he and his family are on a green card in the states and have now opened three Chinese restaurants in Iowa of all places 🙂 I also had a nice talk with a college student that was in Oregon from China who was traveling back to see her family. The flight took about 12 hours. Upon arrival in Shanghai, I went through customs, exchanged some money for dinner, and went to the customer service desk to check on my luggage. They said it would be routed through Taipei from Oregon now and I can pick all my bags up in Xiamen Sunday night. I had a flash back of standing at the desk to talk about my soaking wet luggage in Fuzhou when I was here in July due to some ice melting on the flight above my luggage. Again, I am learning to just treat these international trips as an adventure, as it helps nothing at all to get worked up about it! 🙂 I am happy they will arrive so I will have clean clothes to wear Monday and all the donations to give to the orphanage Monday morning too! I wish I would have packed a better carry on, but I will work with what I have the next couple of days! 🙂
I had about a 3 hour layover in Shanghai before boarding a flight to Xiamen, so I took a little nap while I could in the waiting area:) I also ordered some dinner, at a food stand by the gate. I am pretty confident my chicken roll up, was breaded chicken feet wrapped in some sort of bread with some sauce. It was pretty good! 🙂 I was warned in Beijing that Xiamen can be more adventuress with their food than my normal stops like Beijing and Guangzhou since it is more remote. Last time I had frog, chicken’s feet, and cooked pig’s blood, to name a few things 🙂 I am up for trying just about anything, and it is neat to experience the local culture. I learned from the restaurant owner from Fuzhou on the plane that Xiamen is famous for their seafood!
Since of course I do not know the language well, I enjoy people watching. The children traveling with their families are all so precious, and I always admire the grace and beauty of the Chinese women. My flight to Xiamen arrived around midnight Saturday night. I sat next to a man and his wife from Texas who were traveling to Xiamen for a rock trade show for their counter top business. They said they come every year for it in Xiamen. I know Guangzhou is also famous for trade shows too. A nice guide whose Chinese name was David and a driver picked me up and took me to my hotel, the Central Hotel in Xiamen.
I am so excited to be here! Even though I am tired, I think I will have a hard time sleeping tonight knowing I am just a short walk away from the orphanage! 🙂 Tomorrow morning I will meet our Doctor in the lobby and head to an international government approved church here in Xiamen for foreign passport holders. I learned that many foreigners attend and it is led by a pastor from Mexico of all places! 🙂 I can’t wait. I will post more later! Thanks for following my journey, and for your love and prayers!