sally and i arrived on the train this morning in Chengdu, Sichuan province, western China. the train carried us for 47 hours. i hope all of you will be proud of me because i really nailed this one! i think im learning how to operate, or not operate, while sitting on an extended train trip. thanks in large part to my mom, dad and sis who sent me some beef jerky and energy bars from stateside. they, along with plenty of noodles, made my stomach happy.
my hopes and spirits are high now and ill tell you why. there are several reasons, i guess. one, the train ride hasnt left me crippled, but energized and poised to continue. two, im reading a really interesting book that has the potential to change further reading habits of mine and will enable me to gain more from what i read in the future. three, we paid 2 dollars to stay the night at Sims Cozy Guesthouse (google it if you want) and the place is stellar. four - and probably the foremost reason for my excitement - we just booked our plane tickets to Lhasa, Tibet. if youve been reading past posts, you know that ive been hoping, anticipating and praying that this part of the journey would happen. tomorrow morning we hop a plane to the "rooftop of the world". pinch me - i must be dreaming. i feel truly blessed to be able to experience this mysterious place and meet its people. i feel that im being rewarded for something, but dont feel as if i done anything to merit any reward. i think i will look at it as a gift, a Christmas gift, from my Savior on His birthday. i cant think of any better gift.
we will not be exploring much of Chengdu, even though there is much to see - and eat. this place is renowned for its Sichuan cuisine...spicy!!! people come here just to eat. we are on a bit of a schedule, so it will serve us as a staging ground for tibet and not much more. tonite at the hostel, there will be a Christmas party with bar-b-q (they would do well to impress a couple of texas with their bar-b-q) and traditional tibetan dance. should be a real hoot. everywhere we go, Christmas music is playing overhead. the spirit is in the air and its confusing me. doesnt feel or look like Christmas, but it sure sounds like it.
we may not have a chance to write in the near future, so i wish all of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS now, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from China. please continue to pray for our travels. upon arrival in Lhasa, we will need to arrange a ride to Kathmandu via the Friendship Highway. thanks...and consider yourself posted.