Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Word From the Other Side of the World

It's been four days, four looooong days since I've last heard from B. I've been waiting, checking my phone, checking the travel log set up by ARCC....and finally, today, word from the other side of the world! The following is the message we got today:

We just arrived in Shangri La, a beautiful town located at 10,500 feet!! The last time we caught up, our group was about to embark for the infamous Tiger Leaping Gorge hike. Now, three days later, we're stronger, happier, and a little more tired. The hike was absolutely incredible! We were all trying to come up with good words to describe our three-day hike, but couldn't entirely wrap our heads around it. The hike was difficult, yet rewarding, full of spectacular views of the steep gorge walls and rushing Yangtze River below.

After a few jam-packed days in Beijing, this hike also allowed us all a bit of down-time in the afternoon which had been much anticipated. We took an afternoon hike on Monday to check out some stunning views above our gorgeous guesthouse, and finished the night with a couple of great games over a delicious spread for dinner.

Tuesday, we awoke to a yummy breakfast of pancakes, and set out for our big uphill climb. After 28 switch-backs, we finally hit the downhill and ended at the Tea Horse Guesthouse which was equally as charming as the one the night before. Our Chinese guide, Jonathan, gave us the opportunity to kill a chicken for dinner! Max stepped up to the challenge, and the sight was indescribable! Alas, we had fresh chicken with dinner...(just wait for the pictures!). Today, we left our guesthouse and finished the remainder of the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike. Today's hike was full of beautiful views due to the sunshine that finally crept out for the entire morning. We ended with tired legs, but raised spirits, and ate a delicious lunch before heading to the Shangbala Tibetan Yard where we are now!

Tomorrow, we begin our first community service project in Napa Village, where we will be constructing a recycling center for the local community. There, we will be in groups of 4 or 5 staying with the local families and learning more about this interesting and unique culture"

Sounds incredible, and I can't wait to hear just how incredible it was....from her! It's been so hard waiting, wondering and worrying. Though I did shed a few tears at the airport witnessing Ella's breakdown regarding Brianna's departure, I've somehow managed to keep it together since then. So, consider this a of you...don't know who.... don't know when, but one day (I suspect very soon) someone will ask me how B is doing in China, and the floodgates will open. I'm overdue. Just thought I'd warn case that someone is you!

I do know that the group will remain in Shangri La Until July 11th. They will end their time there with a celebratory feast and traditional Tibetan dance in the town center. They will then be off to Lhasa, Tibet.


Donna said...

OMG Melissa,
You write so very eloquently and the description of your emotions... I can feel every goosebump, pitter patter of excitement, dull thud of dread and everything in between right along with you. Who would have ever thought my genius sister (the audiologist) who in addition to being the most amazing mother in the world could be/do anything on this planet, may well have the calling and gift to be bu a humble author. I would read any novel you would write, but to read the blogs that reflect your true life and that of my nieces/nephews is a joy beyond description. I love you and thank you for sharing your heart with us <3

Betty said...

Melissa, I just spent my entire lunch hour catching up on your blog. You write with such feeling and emotion, I had tears and a lump in my throat reading about B's adventures and all the emotions that you are feeling as a mother. As one mother to another I can relate so well.

Thank you so much for sharing her (and your) journey with all of us. God Bless her and keep her safe on this great journey. And God Bless you and Brian for creating such a wonderful life for your children. All the best to you always. **Betty**