We just welcomed our new grandson into the world this week. Needless to say – I’ve been a tad distracted.
In less than a month we are to be boarding a plane for foreign lands.
After our grandson’s exciting arrival, my husband and I booked it downtown to meet at Starbuck’s with Walt and Kim from our sending organization, My Silver Cord. They had such fun things to share about “our place” across the ocean. Showing us maps of the local foreigner-friendly shops – and, even a Wal-Mart made its entrance since our friends were there only a short year before. We were introduced to faces and descriptions of our future precious neighbors. Of those who could speak English, and those who love to hang out with Americans.
We could picture more of our neighborhood and the unique sites hopefully to visit. I can’t wait to share more from personal experience!
And, then…my mind drifts…
- Our little grandson will be four months old by the time we return home.
- Will I have anything to offer these highly educated and professional Chinese neighbors? (Reminder to self: ignore insecure thoughts and doubts from the pit!)
- Will I get sick? I already have a sensitive stomach….
- Will I get along with my sweetheart in new and potentially stressful situations?
- How will I manage the public restrooms? (Note: Chinese culture considers Western toilets as unsanitary because we “sit” on them!)
Voices pull me back to our Starbuck’s conversation —
- Goosebumps tickle me – a thrill of going to a place I’ve only imagined.
- A community near our apartment seems something like a mini-Hong Kong has my curiosity. No tourist goes there because it’s tucked out-of-the-way and isn’t readily seen by the ‘outsider.’ White visitors are a welcome curiosity.
- There is plenty of shopping for the national souvenir and places to go for our Western every day needs.
I’m eager to meet our neighbors and learn more about their way of life. We’ll encounter accountants, teachers, children, sanitary workers – a variety of individuals and families within our gates.
My generation has seen the Bamboo Curtain of China closed, to then be opened to Western visitors in my lifetime. What a gift to be allowed a peek into Chinese lives and share ours together, even if for just a moment.