Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time Zones

One of Dorothy’s and Clara’s all time favorite DVD movies is Big Bird in China, which we have probably watched about, hmm, let’s see, … 10,000 times. It was originally a Sesame Street special, produced in 1983 when western visits to China were still a modern novelty. In it Big Bird and his/her silent friend the big shaggy dog Barkly travel to a host of Chinese landmarks, mostly around Beijing, looking for the magic Phoenix bird. Not coincidently, these have been stops on our little tour as well.

It has bugged Clara that Dorothy got to visit the Great Wall four years ago while she was still waiting for us in Hengdong, Hunan Province. So we had been anticipating yesterday’s visit to a section of the wall north of Beijing for a long time. We’ve had great weather that has been sunny and a dry sort of hot. But our internal clocks haven’t quiet fully adjusted. Both girls awoke bright-eyed and ready to go at about 2 am on Thursday, which is close but not there yet.

We arrived near the Great Wall at about 10:30 a.m., filling our little van with high-pitched shouts of, “I can see it!!! I can see it!!!.”

It was a very good day. The adrenaline collected from climbing and hiking around on the wall (keeping an eye out for sudden appearances of the magical Monkey King), making our own little movie, then visiting the familiar stone animals lining the entrance to the nearby tombs of the Ming emperors carried at least the kids through the entire day, with a close to normal sleep Thursday night.

This is a secondary purpose of this leg of our trip. Since we couldn’t meet Henry in Lanzhou before the 15th, scrambling together our arrangements to arrive in China a week in advance was intended to give us all time to adjust to the difficult time change. This is turning out to have been a very good move, since we’ll have a lot of much bigger adjustments to make next week. While Lanzhou is far to the west of Beijing, all of China retains the same time zone.

It's Friday morning here at present. Tomorrow we head to Gansu Province.


teri said...

What cute pictures of your girls sleeping. Thinking of you all over there and hoping the girls sleep well tonight. Brian has made it to China safely and they are a the Great Wall probably as I write this. Hope they meet up with you in Lanzhou!! Two more days until we meet the boys!!

Teri Prichard in CO

Anita said...

I am so excited and just enthralled with the pictures and descriptions of the girls in China. Thank you for this blog. Love and blessings,

M & D said...

The kids and I have enjoyed following your blog. We will pray for an easy transition for little Henry.
:0) Michele B. in Georgia

Anonymous said...

Oh yes Big Bird in China-or "Bird China" as Emma calls it is a favorite in our house! How wonderful for Dorthy and Clara to have the chance to look for the elusive Monkey King! : )

Our house is filling with excitement for you as you FINALLY travel to Gansu tomorrow! Your wait for Henry is finally coming to an end. I can not WAIT to see a family photo of FIVE!!!

God Bless,
Megan, Greg and Emma Montieth
(Waiting for Sophie in Guangdong)!

Sarah said...

Woohooo! I found your website!!! I'm so excited for you. Eliza loves Big Bird in China (although recently she has developed such a fear of the Monkey King that she won't watch it)...but our visit to the Great Wall in August was SO HOT...that that is where her memory got stuck. I'm so glad the weather has been good. It sounds as though you are having a wonderful time!!


Sarah Felton

kcappelt said...

What a wonderful journal of your expedition. Those photos are just adorable.

Welcome, Henry, to such a sweet family. Godspeed to all of you in your travels.

K. Appelt, TX