Today we traveled to the Great Wall! It was about an hour’s drive to this section of the wall, which was built in the 1600’s. The earliest parts of the wall were built in 200 BC, though little of those sections still exist. The wall was built to keep the Monguls (and other nomadic tribes) out of China. The watchtowers were a significant part of the wall, as it allowed them to see the attacks coming. The entire wall is about 5,000 miles long. I’m not sure how much we climbed today, but I’ll say the Great Wall is China’s equivalent of Colorado’s incline! It was not an easy walk up – and at times, the step up was as tall as my knee. We got a good workout today!
These signs were hilarious – the translations were horrible!
People had placed these locks near the bottom – apparently it first started when a large group of people held their wedding ceremony’s at the wall – as part of the ceremony, they locked the lock and threw the key away to show everlasting love.
This gentleman was selling marble etchings that he was making. Jesse really liked them, and asked the artist to take a picture. Something my dad would do 🙂
After we finished at the wall, we visited the Jade Factory. Jade is China’s national treasure – very valuable. Women recieve a jade bangle as a wedding present, as like the wedding ring represents infinity without end, and is an heirloom passed down through generations.
After lunch we drove past the Olympic village and from the van we got to see the bird’s nest, cube and a bunch of other buildings. We attended an acrobatic show this afternoon. George was pretty excited about this show, and talked it up quite a bit… while they did some really cool, very difficult things it was rather poorly executed. I was a bit dissapointed. Ah well!
During the drive, George told us a bit of his personal story. He is the fifth child in his family – obviously not the norm here. After his brother, the fourth child, was born, his mom had her tubes tied. They were already experiencing a lot of pressure from having four children. Well, 8 years later she’s 4 months pregnant and thinks she’s dying of cancer. The doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong, she takes tons of antibiotics – nothing. Finally some old lady tells her – you’re pregnant! Of course she doesn’t believe her at first, but sure enough she is. She was happy to not be dying of cancer, but they already had four kids. So she goes to the hospital and gets pills to abort the baby! She tried TWICE to have an abortion. She tried chinese herbs. Nothing worked. Finally, she thought this kid must be my destiny. George used the word predestination quite a few times in his story – I think he meant destiny. He said when he got the job with CCAI as the guide for Beijing helping families in their adoptions, he went home to tell his mom and she said that was his destiny – the reason he lived. Pretty wild!
Tomorrow we head down to Zhengzhou and meeting Seth is only one day away!