I am currently in Beijing sitting at a Starbucks. I am on my laptop with this much beloved white cup and green emblem and there are voices around me speaking English intertwined with those speaking Chinese. I have missed this place. I am even considering ordering two or three drinks, just because I can and I didnt have to walk an hour and a half to get here. All is well in my world today.
Someone told me a few weeks ago that getting things done here in China is a bit harder than what we may be used to in the states. For example, getting a cup of coffee, or downloading pictures onto a network, or buying groceries, or having a simple conversation. It's not impossible, it's just harder and it takes more out of you. It is making me a much more grateful person though as I learn that the majority of the world does not live in the comforts and conveniences that we are used to in the West. And this is the first time in a month that I have been out of Maria's and don't feel like I look different and stand out from everyone else around me. For those of you reading, please do not misunderstand me, I am not at all saying I don't want to be here, I absolutely and undoubtedly do, but this has just been one of those weeks where the "hard" things have just seemed more pronounced; physically, mentally, emotionally. Especially emotionally.
There are aspects of life at Maria's that I was very clearly told about before coming, so it has not come as a surprise. But they are also things that I know I could not prepare myself for before coming; I have no point of reference to pull from. There are things I will have to go through here and learn how to process them as I walk through them, trusting that His grace can and will be sufficient to carry me through each one. This was one of those weeks were I was able to get a little feel for "so that's what he was talking about when he said..."
So, this place is doing me some good today. An opportunity to think, to sit, to just be and enjoy something that I know. Something that is familiar as I process through the hard things I am learning.
I came to Beijing this weekend with a few of our nurses who are on break. I wanted to do a "test run" on the train before Laura, Robin, and Leanne all come in December. I didn't want it to be a case of the blind leading the blind, so I figured I would take advantage of getting the experience in and getting away for a couple of days. Here are a few shots from our little adventure...
|Waiting on our train in Luoyang|
|on the sleeper train|
|Lilly, Heidi, and Krystal|
|Beijing train station|