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Sharon’s China Adventure Part 5

Hi all!Today started before 6 am as we had an trip on the bullet train to Beijing.  The Nanjing north train station looks like it is a set for a Star Trek episode.  It is ultra modern  .  As we had been warned, the train doors open for only a short time so we had to move quickly.  It has been comical to watch our hosts try to keep 22 Canadians under control.  It has been like herding cats.The bullet train is electric so it is very quiet and smooth.  We had a couple of short stops at cities along the way, otherwise we cruised at 300 km/hr.  The crew is like on an airplane offering meals and snacks along the way.  As we travelled north we saw farm fields, rice paddies, nuclear power plants and lots of industrial sites.  The haze was frightening.  Visibility was limited to less than a KM most of the way.  I can’t imagine living under such conditions every day.  thankfully, the dangerous pollution levels have lifted here in Beijing so we’re not quite as worried as we were a few days ago.  While I’m not having any breathing problems, I am dealing with itchy eyes which I attribute to the quality of the air.We were met in Beijing by Brother Liu of the China Christian Council.  We boarded a bus for an afternoon of sightseeing.  We viisited Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City.  They are all part of the centre of the old city.  There was certainly plenty of security and a significant military presence which we haven’t seen up to this point.  It was a long afternoon of walking—China’s history is colourful and the crowds were thick.Supper was in a great restaurant and we are discovering the differences in food from China’s various regions.  I haven’t used anything but chopsticks in over a week and I have eaten foods that have surprised even me.Tonight we had a group meeting to catch up with the significant things we’ve learned so far and how we might integrate them when we get home. Some folks were interviewed by an Observer writer who is in China on another assignment.  We hope they’ll be good coverage of our delegation.Tomorrow we will be attending worship and having lunch with a congregation here.  From there we will travel by bus to the Great Wall for some exploring before returning to the church for supper.  We are all feeling the effects of a week of very early mornings and late nights.  It is exhausting but envigorating.  As much as we are learnning about the chinese church, we are also learning so much from each other about the church in Canada.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been chosen for this.Bessings,Sharonl

Categories: General News, Sharon