Goodbye Beijing, Hello Wuhan

For our last day in Beijing we were on our own to explore the city.
WE wanted to see the Temple of Heaven and decided to just walk there
so we could see more of the city.  We were also sore from our Great
Wall run and wanted to work out our muscles to loosen up.  It was a
very interesting hour walk through the city.  We arrived at the Temple
of Heaven with no problems.  The city is organized in a grid pattern
so it is easy to follow a map.

The temple is surrounded by a very large park.  Everyday people come
to spend time relaxing here but it was a special treat for us to be
there on a Saturday when so many were enjoying the park on their day
off.  Peter told us this would give us a feel for what local people do
on the weekend.  It was better than we could have imagined.
Throughout the park were groups of people enjoying dancing, badmitton,
ping pong, TaiJi, Karokee, patriotic singing, playing instruments and
exercise.  In the park there is a type of playground for adults.  We
have seen these throughout the city.  Brightly colored, it appears a
child's playground from a distance but contains stationary bike,
parallel bars and workout benches instead of slides and swings.  Kevin
and I were amazed at the strenght on display.  Men who appeared to be
in their 60s and 70s were performing gymnastics of great strength.
Very impressive.
We enjoyed many different types of singing and dancing.  Kevin joined
in a game like our hackey sack with a group of people already playing.
 He really had a good time.  I love the community feeling at the parks
and the way people just enjoy themselves without worrying about what
others think about how they look.

We also viewed the temple and all the surrounding buildings, but the
highlight was being in the park.  Next stop was to do some shopping at
a nearby market.  Kevin and I had fun bartering for what we wanted.
It is amazing how quickly you can get the price down by 50% or even
more.  We were now very tired and ready to rest, so we took the subway
back home.  We were excited to have successfully done a whole day in
the city by ourselves.

We have said good bye to Peter and Beijing and are now in Wuhan.  We
had a great flight here.  The flight was very full.  Looking forward
and back all you could see was a sea of black hair and then me :).
Wuhan is also a very urban city.  It is a large city of 3 miles from
east to west and 2 from north to south.  It is a huge industrial city
with many business, more for business than tourism.  There are few
westerners that we have seen so far even at our hotel.

In a few hours we will meet our daughter for the first time and then
she will be forever with us.  We are excited and nervous.  I keep
thinking about what she must be feeling right now.  Atleast I have
Kevin, she has no one.  Please continue to pray for our transition.  I
don't know when I will be able to write again.  We are so thankful for
all of you.

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