Great Wall

Being a child of God is an amazing thing.  No matter where we go He is
always with us.  No matter what the circumstance we always have the
opportunity to praise Him even if just quietly in our soul.  His love
is so great do not hesitate to run to Him.  He desires above all
things to have a relationship with you.  All else may fail but He
alone will remain.

My heart is drawn close to God after spending a day on the Great Wall.
 You cannot be there and not experience His presence in His creation.
We headed to the Mutianyu section of the wall first thing in the
morning.  Our eyes fixed out the window for the entire hour and a half
drive.  After passing through miles and miles of highrise apartment
buildings, the landscape began to change to lush green farmland.  Many
farmers in this area grow fruit.  The town surrounding Mutianyu are a
popular destination for city dwellers weekend getaways.  You can visit
U-pick farms, camping parks, playgrounds, small ponds, and for the
very rich a golf course resort.

We took a cable care up to the main entrance at the wall.  I don't
think I can even begin to put into words the beauty of being on the
Great Wall.  I cannot wait to share our photographs when we return
home.  Absolutely breathtaking.  The air is much cooler up in the
mountains and cleaner too.  We were treated with a gorgeous day and
clear skies where we could see all the way to the city skyscrapers.
Peter said this is very rare.  The wall was built mainly to protect
China from Mongolian invaders.  It has now become, in modern day, the
symbol of China.  A structure build to keep people out of their
country ironically is printed on our visas to get in.

Peter climbed the wall with us until we reached an area that climbed
straight up.  He explained most families will now turn around, some
will climb the hill, but for sure we should turn around when we reach
the sign.  My competitive side kicked in and I was determined we would
hit the sign running.  We headed up following the Great Wall up the
mountain.  The trail became more and more in disrepair but still no
sign.  We went through portions where we were climgin with our hands
and section so overgrown you could barely make out the wall.  We met a
man from Holland who was backpacking the wall for four days and
continuing on through Asia for the next 4 months.  We enjoyed our time
meeting him and hiking together and felt like we were in an REI
commerical.

We said goodbye to our new friend and headed back to where Peter was
waiting for us, thinking we had probably left him waiting long enough.
 In total we climbed another hour and a half beyond the time we parted
from him.  But still we never saw a sign.  Maybe the sign has been
taken, but it definitely  no longer exists.  What a rush!  And a
fullfillment of one of my dreams - to run on the Great Wall.  We are
very blessed to be here and to be healthy enough to experience all of
this.  We made a commitment that no matter what Elie's physical
capibilities, some day she have experiences like this even if we have
to carry her.  Everyone should have the opportunity to do this.  Peter
told us that the higher you climb the better your hair will be.  My
hair is pretty crusty after all that hiking but maybe it takes awhile
for it to take effect.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at a delicious restaurant at the
base of the mountain in a small village.  Kung Pa chicken is so much
better here then anything we have ever had in the states.  The Beijing
area makes it more of a sweet spicy BBQ flavor.  Peter was amazed at
how much we can eat and continues daily to comment on our energy
level.  I guess most families who come to adopt in China are much
older than us.

Next stop was the Olympic Village.  So cool to see this in person -
the Egg's Nest and the Cube right there before our eyes.  Everywhere
we go people want to have their picture taken with us.  It is mostly
people who are visiting from the countryside and have never seen
foreigners before.  Our height makes us like movie stars.  We play
along and it gives us a chance to interact with people.

After returning to the hotel area we went back to the drink cafe for a
much welcomed cold coke and some fabulous people watching.  We have
started a list of funny Enlish writing we have seen on Tshirts here in
China.  Their use of the English language is at times hysterical.
Makes you wonder what the Tshirts at home with  Asian writing on them
actually say.  I'm sure people have no idea what their shirts are
communicating.  My favorite so far is "Knowledge is like pants.  Both
invisible but necessary."

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