I. am. in. CHINA!!

We’ve been in China for a little over twenty-four hours now, and it’s been great!  The jet-lag was pretty bad on the plane.  I was expecting it, but not that bad, and (for some reason) not until we got home; but I perked up when we got to Xi’an… and could go to bed.  I’m never sleepy when I’m supposed to be–like, never!

I had my first conundrum about food at lunch yesterday, when almost everything was SPICY, but we found some mild noodles and some pork that was only… flavorful.  But breakfast is wonderful.  They have Asianie things like noodles and rice and baked yams (for breakfast?), but they also have some more western things like fried eggs, pancakes, bacon, and french-toast.  And they also have different flavors of juice–one of which was grapefruit which I had never seen before.

Our hotel is very nice, and it is a lot like American hotels.  The view out of the window is just short of breathtaking!  There’s a pond out there that the building is kind-of built around so it’s almost like a courtyard.  In some places the water comes right up to the hotel-walls, and in some places there’s a little patio or strip of land in between.  It is SO beautiful!  With the goldfish clustering around in the water, the little trees and patches of green grass, the vines climbing up the yellow walls, the red roofs, the palm-trees, the little wooden porches and long wooden benches, the stepping-stones; with big Chinese buildings and a foggy Chinese sky rising behind it… can you tell I’m in raptures about this little spot? 🙂

Our guide is also very nice.  She is organized and friendly and cheerful.  She’s the only guide I’ve ever had, so I don’t have anything to compare her to; but I decided I liked her before I’d known her for an hour!

I stick out here like a banana in a smoke-house!  People stare at us a lot.  Sometimes people stare at you in America, but I think it’s worse here…. though I could, of course, just be making that up.  We were standing by the fence around our hotel today, and people on the street outside kept looking at us as they walked by.  “It’s like we’re in a zoo!” mom said! 🙂  Sometimes I just ignore people that stare at me, sometimes I smile (especially if they’re children), and sometimes I just stare back.  I’m not sure how I should be responding!


(Drum-roll please)

WE’RE MEETING LUCY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The two king-sized beds in our room are pretty close together; and I think it was a long time after we all woke up, but shortly after we turned on the light and all admitted that we were awake (which was a long time before we all got up), mom looked over at me and said, “It’s Lucy-day!”  I just grinned, because it was too early to freak out–but I was freaking out inside!  FREAKIN’ OUT!!!

I can’t believe it!  I’m meeting my sister today!  I’ve wondered about this for a long time.  I wonder what she’ll be like.  What she’ll think of me.  But all my anxiety melts into absolute insignificance when I think about what she might be thinking!  Does she know that she’s meeting her family today?  I hope so.  Is she happy?  I hope so.  Is she excited?  I hope so.  Is she scared? I hope not.  Is she nervous?  Probably.  Is she curious?  How could she not be?!  I pray she is not scared or confused!


There is so much more I could tell you!  This is in a nutshell.

And speaking of nuts, I got to try roasted chess-nuts yesterday for the first time!  They were… interesting.  They reminded me of potatoes, honestly.  It was fun to get to try them, because now I know what they are.  You hear about them a lot in English literature!

So far China has been great!  Becca told me before we left: “I think you’ll like it (paraphrased) if you just think of it as an adventure.”

And that’s what I’m doing.  I just keep telling myself: “It’s an adventure.  Just have fun!   Don’t lose your bag.  DON’T DROP YOUR PASSPORT!  Stay under your umbrella (it’s been COLD and WET here!) but don’t bump into  anything with it (even though our guide already hit someone on the head with hers).  Look both ways.  See as much as you can without losing mom and dad.

“Live it up.  Breathe it in–even the smog.

“It is beautiful.”


“Then let’s look on the bright side: we’re having an adventure…”

-The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, page 295

18 thoughts on “I. am. in. CHINA!!”

  1. I really enjoyed reading your perspective of China, Hanna! Praying for all of you and thank you for letting us share in your fun!

  2. Its’s Lucy Day!!!

    I couldn’t love this post more! Thank you for the beautiful descriptions, Hanna, and especially the sheer joy and delight in every bit of your tone.

    I remember eating hot chestnuts when I was a girl living in Japan – they were a real treat, and as you and Becca so aptly said, “It’s an adventure!”

  3. Wow! You make China sound SO incredible! I almost feel like I’m there myself, you describe it so well :-). It totally sounds like you are having a great adventure in China!
    I’m sure you’ll have an AMAZING time meeting Lucy! -Savannah

  4. I agree, Hanna! China, is beautiful!! And I love how you described your view and little spot that you have found!!!! We too had water surrounding one of our hotels in China!!! Lovely post!!! I felt like I was there all over again!

  5. Happy “Meeting Lucy day” dear Hanna (it is nearly 1pm in China!!)!! Praying for you today, for Lucy today and that God would continue to knit your hearts together as sisters and as a family!!

    I love your perspective of looking at even the conundrums as an adventure! It reminds me of a quote by missionary Jim Elliot “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

    Love you dear girl!! 🙂

  6. Hannah,

    Thank you for sharing the vivid details. You are a descriptive writer!

    We know what it is like to be stared upon ( even laughed at) by the public. They are curious about the foreigners and you are a pretty, young lady as well. I think it is fine to smile back at the gawking strangers if you feel so compelled, especially the elderly, the women and the children (maybe ignore glances from the men). “Let your light so shine before men, ye are the light of the world.”

    Happy trails for you,


  7. 😉
    I so enjoyed your rendering this morning at breakfast. I laughed at the “bananna in the smoke house.” You are on an adventure; hope we hear much more about it from you.
    You are a delight Hanna!

  8. Wonderful writing Hanna. I’m very impressed. I’m so happy for you and your family that you finally made it to China and got to meet Lucy. Give everyone my best.

  9. Thank you Hannah, I could just about taste, smell, feel, and see– CHINA!!! Wow you’re in China!!! Thanks for sharing your story…Matt and Timothy and I are enjoying your ADVENTURE!!!
    Praying for you all!!!

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