Sara and I successfully made the trek from Beijing to Sichuan this morning. We woke up at 4am so we could get to the airport for our 7:20am flight, and all went well. Of course, when we arrived at 10am, we felt like the day should have been half over. Nevertheless, we had plenty of time to experience and enjoy this city we both missed so much.
It's been a long day... at this point I feel like I have had a Sichuan overload: Sichuan food, Sichuan speak, Sichuan transportation, Sichuan crowds. Upon landing, we took a taxi to our friends' place where we are staying (thank you for your hospitality, Ryan and Karin!) and took a little time to visit with them and settle in. By lunch time, we were ready to get out on the town. So we met up with one of Sara's friends and he took us to lunch, for hot pot in a mall food court. The rest of the afternoon, I stumbled through the conversations in my not-so-graceful Chinese (Sara's friend does not speak English) and took in all the sights, sounds, and smells. We shopped along the Quan Xi Lu (Shopping Mall Road) along with thousands of other people, and talked and laughed and wore ourselves out. Despite the fact that there are so many foreigners in Chengdu, I seemed to be just as much of an attraction as the mannequins in the storefronts. In fact, a few people asked to have their picture taken with me, to which I complied. We took our own share of pictures, and I've shared a few of them below so you can get a glimpse of our day.
Finally, tired out from an early morning and a few hours of walking around town, we returned to our room and took a nap. We didn't think we would sleep as long as we did... we finally woke up at 8:30pm and went back out to get dinner and a few small things for breakfast tomorrow. All in all, it's been a very full day. I can't decide if I want to try to stop the constant flow of Chinese in my brain--it's tiring me out but probably really good practice too. Hopefully my dreams will at least be in English...
Tomorrow we have our first meeting with some community development/local business people. We are excited about the opportunities they might have for us, so keep us in your thoughts. We are so thankful for your support!