I arrived in Beijing at about 1:20 pm CHina time. The 14 hour flight was sponsored by ambien so it went by very quickly. However, as we were landing I thought ‘I wonder who is going to pick me up’. I had sent an email several days before but nothing had really been confirmed. So I get off the plane, get laser beamed to make sure I did not have a fever (if you have a fever coming into China, you will be quarantined) and grabbed my bags. I then went through a mob of people standing there with signs to indicate who they were giving rides to. I read all the names at least 6 times before coming to the conclusion that my ride was not there….whoever they were. I sit down on the floor, pull out my cell phone and say thanks that Katie from ShowHope had given me a list of emergency numbers. But, just my luck, my iphone apparently does not work in CHina. Awesome. So a Chinese security officer sees me looking quite frazzeled and comes over to me. I start explaining my situation to me and he looks even more confused than I am so I pull out the card of phone numbers and he lets me use his cell phone. Robin from New Hope answers and tells me to wait by the Starbucks at the airport. Ok great. We now have a plan. Only I dont see a starbucks. I begin to ask people where the starbucks is and no one understands me. So, I get in my wallet and pull out a Starbucks giftcard and point to the symbol and was directed in which way to go. My ride comes and takes me to New Hope where I will be spending the next 3 days. Its funny how getting off the plane here a year ago was so shocking and now it does not even phase me. Everything makes much more sense (except for the kids in the split pants. That will never make sense). And it makes so much sense for me to be here. I have been playing with sweet children for the past couple hours and meeting some of the American and British summer interns here at New Hope. Now I am fighting to stay awake until at least 8 tonight to try and fight off some jet lag.
Although I know that I have left so much behind for the next 6 weeks, I am so looking forward to what is to come. China feels like home to me and there is no place I would rather be.
To my mother: My cell phone doesn’t work. I do not have facebook. For some reason I cannot email you. Please have Daddy call AT&T to find out what to do about using my phone in China. His social security number is on my account so he should be able to access the information. Thanks! I love you!
For those of you who have skype, my name is joannafranzke. Please feel free to add me and skype when you’re around!