i arrived in Xiamen on the 16th and today is my third day in town. i dont know where else to start other than to say that i really do like it here. and i know exactly why i like it - the reason is the closeness of the sea. wherever i have lived in alaska, it has never been far from the sea. im fascinated by it and have been blessed to live in such places.
the bulk of Xiamen is on an island with some of it overflowing onto the mainland. there are other things that make this town stand out among the other cities ive been to (even though thats not many). because of its beauty, cleanliness and lack of pollution, this place is a tourist destination even for the chinese. the city streets and buildings are wonderfully landscaped. they seem to go to great lengths to make their town look good, and theyre doing a bang-up job in my opinion. i dont plan on exploring much of the city simply because i can walk the opposite direction and be on the water. i will try to breathe in as much salty air as i can before we head for the tibetan plateau, far from sea level.
im staying in an apartment that belongs to friends from texas. i dont think wayne and teresa realize what a luxury this is (thank you so much W & T!). they arent here at the time, so for now, its my chinese bachelor pad. nancy, who works for them and is as close as family, has been very helpful to me so far. hopefully she'll be able to travel with sally and i to western china. please pray for us as we arrange these travel plans. they all have to be made on the spot and last-minute, which doesnt allow for much planning.