Yangshuo Day 8

Sorry I didn’t blog last night! Yesterday was a busy day of not doing much. We had breakfast at 8 which has been the normal time for us this trip. Following that we had devotions and communion with David and “Grandma” (one of the cooks.) It was a lovely time of prayer and fellowship-something I will never forget. After that we went back to the hotel to grab our bags and check out before heading to the train station to catch our 11:56 train….that turned into a 2:00 train….that turned into a 3:00 train. Needless to say there was lots of waiting which turned out to be a blessing in a way because Chuck, Jeff, Shumin and I were able to go for a walk to downtown and visit the Ronsghui Hotel. We also walked through a local gathering place where lots of men and a few women were sitting around gambling. I’m pretty sure Jeff enjoyed parading me around through there just to see everybody stop and stare at me. We headed back to the train station again but not before stopping to grab some cake for me and red bean buns for everyone else (the cake was soooo good! No regrets!) There was lots of sitting around and waiting after that but eventually the train did come and then it was even more waiting! I enjoyed it though, I plugged myself into my ipod and found myself slipping away on lose threads of thought and day dreams. The thinking was good for me, if hard. I had to face some questions I really didn’t want to answer and though I still don’t know which path to go down I know I am closer to it. After that I slept for a bit- I love sleeping- while the rest of the team hung out and talked. We got in to Guilin around 7:30 and John met us once more before we went back to the Tai Lian Hotel. We had a late dinner which Marilynne skipped as she is still not feeling well. At dinner we got the oh so pleasant news that we had to be ready to go at 7:15 the next morning-there was much groaning at that. So up we were with an overnight bag packed for YangShuo. We had a breakfast of Guilin noodles at a little resteraunt nearby our hotel and then packed into 2 taxi’s to get to the ferry terminal. It’s rainy today so we almost took a bus instead but since we already had our tickets for the boat tour we decided we’d stick with it. Personally I’m glad, I enjoy the rain and even if it’s grey the boat tour is still beautiful. As I’m writing this I’m looking out at the Li River and enjoying the beauty of the Limestone mountains around me. There’s nothing quite like it! Granted it is cold and wet but we have tea and snacks and a shelter over our heads, not to mention comfortable seats and a smooth ride- much better then a bus! I was up on the deck earlier enjoying the fresh air, as I said before the rain really doesn’t bother me, and once again I had some men come up to have their pictures taken with me. They must have taken 7 pictures of us together while behind us the girls they were with laughed and I’m fairly certain Ron was laughing at me as well. It seems getting my picture taken with people is the story of my life here in China. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of nice to be considered so beautiful here, but having my picture taken so much is kind of embarrassing. But enough about me! Phyllis seems to be on the mend, but as I said before Marilynne still isn’t doing well and now Shumin is saying he’s not feeling too well either. Chuck was sick before we left so I don’t think there’s much risk for him and Jeff and Ron both seem fine, I woke up with a scratchy throat a couple of times in Rongshui but seem to be fine now. Please keep praying for our health, and also for peace for the kids. I don’t think it’s easy for any of us to go in for four days, get so connected to all of them and then leave again. I didn’t cry as we left the Orphanage yesterday as I thought I would, though I did tear up a bit. I think there is just no time for me to let my emtions come out but I know in the coming days I will have plenty of tears to shed. On a happier note I have decided to call Jeff, pasta Jeff- at the moment I don’t remember how that started but I like it so I’m sticking with it. On that note I think I will wrap this up. As we’re on the boat with no internet connection it wont be posted until later and since I probably wont blog again tonight I will say wishfully that we arrived safely in Yangshuo and spent the afternoon shopping and enjoying the beauty of the town before having a delicious dinner at one of the many resteraunts on West Street. Blessings on you all!

Stephanie

The rain pours down around me
clean and beautiful
bringing with it the hope of a greener tomorrow
the river rushes by around me and below me
and mountains loom over head on both sides
this traveling brings me peace
and the calm of it all
lets me think
and I fall down a rabbit hole of
could be’s and if only’s
both dangerous and beautiful in their possibilities
Is it fear that holds me back
or God’s will?
Is what my heart is telling me
the same as what God is telling me
or is it confusing me
and making God’s words muddled in my head?
I’m praying for clarity
and hoping for peace
while my heart rides a roller coaster
And the destination is my future
but there are different stops
so where do I get off?
I’m lost in China while I know exactly where I am.

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