It took me 41 hours to get here... with flight cancellations and lost luggage and plans getting thwarted. As a general rule, I don't enjoy the travel time to China. But even despite all of the problems, I had a sense of peace the majority of the trip.
Ironically, the only thing I got nervous about was landing in China. Yes, you read that right. This girl, who has wanted to live in China since she was nine, who has dreamt up every possible scenario of how this summer and the following years will look, who wishes every day that HS would have opened yesterday... I got nervous. It was a weird moment, sitting alone on the plane, looking at the Chinese soil below me, and realizing that I was afraid of what lies ahead. Perhaps it was the mystery of it all, perhaps it was the fact that I won't be able to follow Sara around this time, or maybe even the reality that even when I return to the US end of August I won't be going back to my day job. From now on, HS is what I do full time. It's all coming true. Everything I have wished for and more is happening, and it all hit me in that moment before the plane touched Chinese soil.
It's been about 48 hours since that moment, and I have recovered--for now at least. I've just been settling in, with not a lot of focus on HS or orphan care yet. I got my phone set up with a Chinese SIM card (never had that before, exciting!), I moved into my room with the family I am staying with, bought shampoo and toothpaste and other essentials at the market, and had authentic Sichuan barbeque (shao kao). YUM. Then today, I went to some garage sales. Who knew I'd ever go to garage sales in China... not me. The friend I'm staying with invited me to go with her to a few different apartments of expats who are moving back to the states, and having garage sales to get rid of some of their stuff. Much to my surprise, I ended up buying a few things--paper, stickers, crayons--to bring to the orph with me.
Next week, things will really pick up. I have a meeting with CRDF, will hopefully visit the orph at least once if I can find someone to go with me, and then my best friend arrives (she'll be staying for 3 weeks!!). Those will merit much more exciting blog posts than this one!