May 15, 2010

Great Wall. Great Day.

We enjoyed another amazing day in Beijing. George, our guide from our adoption agency, took us to The Great Wall. Ethan, you would have loved this! We climbed for about an hour with well over a thousand other people (it was Saturday). Going up seemed to be a bit easier than coming down. It takes four hours to travel the particular section we were on, but we all did about half that. And that was more than enough! Later in the afternoon we stopped by the Bird's Nest -- Olympic Stadium.

Overall thoughts about Beijing...

The smog is real. Even though the sun was out, much of the day is hazy. In the evening it gets a bit better, but there is no doubt about the pollution. It really is a beautiful city, though, as the streets are lined with trees, parks and flowers all kept up with nicely. The crowds are constant. There is never a moment of the day that you feel quiet or alone. Traffic is horrendous, no matter the time. Our guide has a consistent answer whenever anyone asks how long to get to a destination. He says, "15 or 20 minutes...without traffic", then he chuckles (that means we know it'll take an hour and a half to two hours).

It has been good to tour Eliana's home country, but we are ready to meet her. We take another flight to head down to her province tomorrow, and will welcome her to our family Monday. Thank you so much for your continued prayers.