Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ni Hao! (Hello!)

This first blog entry is dedicated to my dear friends at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church who inspired me to write this blog by saying, "If you write it, they will come."

We’re finally here in the People’s Republic of China in the city of Ningbo! It’s been a long journey, but we’ve made it halfway around the world.

You realize when you travel to Shanghai on a Tuesday morning that almost no one is traveling for business. Our American Airlines flight was full of professional looking Chinese and a few American passengers. Thankfully, our flight was uneventful, but even if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have noticed. After pulling an all-nighter, Robert and I were more than happy to catch a few zzzzs on the plane. But that didn’t keep us from watching a few in-flight movies on our 14 ½ hour flight from Chicago to Shanghai. I watched Sex and the City (fell asleep at all the good parts), Swing Vote, Baby Mama (I know, I know), and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (they cut it off about halfway through because we were about to land.) During our flight, we had some beautiful views—especially as we flew over the snow capped plains of Siberia—breathtakingly gorgeous. It was a clear picture of God's majesty.

Most of you know, I’m a huge fan of airplane food. This time it was just okay. We had our standard chicken or beef option. Then we had a salami sandwich—yuck! (Had to tap into my supply of almonds and raisins.) We wrapped up our meals with a pizza or Chinese noodle option. Robert had the pizza. I inhaled the noodles.

After landing, it took us about 30 minutes to make it through customs. We then met up with our party and met 2 of the other 3 American singers (Aundi and Lis) as well as Il Hun, a Korean singer living in Munich. While we waited on some other singers to arrive, our escorts took us to the food court to get something to eat. Here’s my confession: our first meals in the great land of China were…KFC, and Pizza Hut!!! I’m so ashamed!!!

About an hour later, we boarded our bus to take our 3 hour ride south of Shanghai to the city of Ningbo--kind of like Omaha. By the time we reached our hotel, we had been traveling for almost 24 hours and were quite pooped. Unfortunately, it was only about 6:30 PM in China (13 hours ahead of Kansas City) and we had to stay up so we could get our bodies on schedule. So, we checked in and went to dinner in the dining room. Dinner was buffet style with an assortment of items to try. Attention Newsome family: they had cushaw! It was served cold and in cubes. It's the stuff that looks like sweet potatoes. I loved it! We were also informed that we would never be offered a cold drink with our meals because the Chinese believe your food digests better with warm drinks. So we had hot water and tea.

After dinner, we went to the room and unpacked. One really cool gadget in the room is what I refer to as the motherboard—it controls everything. It’s a little table in the middle of the bed that controls every light in the room as well as the television. It even has a button that turns on a “Do Not Disturb” light outside the room. It was so convenient! After watching a little CCTV, the English Chinese news station (no news of the debate—can someone give us a summary?), we basically went to sleep—in our two single beds…
I'll send Day 2 later on today.
Love you all!
P.S. Robert says hi!


Tiara said...

LOL I sent you all an email this morning because I was so wondering how your hair was holding up lol!!! Glad you guys made it safely but please do me a favor....DO NOT EAT ANY MORE AMERICAN FOOD OVER THERE! THINK OUT SIDE THE MCDONALDS AND KFC LOL!!!!


Kelly said...

I know Tiara! It wasn't our fault. We didn't have any other meal options!
Thanks for your email today. My hair is doing really well! I think it's going to hold up the whole 2 weeks.

Tamara said...

Wow! How exciting! I can't wait to hear more of Kelly and Robert's Adventures in China. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Peace and blessings

daparkerwoman said...

So glad you took us up on our challenge of a blog!!! Cannot believe you ate American food (oh, yeah, I can!) Can't wait for the next installment.

Have fun!! Kathy

Anonymous said...

Hey Kelly
Glad you guys made it ok,
I hope you are having a great time.
I know it is exciting! Well I am here in KC working like a Hebrew slave.
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Ms. K
How goes it..I am glad you
two made it ok.. things here are
the same ole same ole, I am here at work it was so nice to hear from
Well be Blessed and be safe!!
Luv Ya!

joy joy said...

Wow it's almost like I can see what you see. Great and super! Are you two going to visit any of the UNDERGROUND CHURCHES or sing in front of the liquor stores? LOL
So will you visit any orpanages and towns that are provety striken? Wow China thats sooo extrodinary!

Jelani said...

Happy to hear you guys made it there safely. I think it is sooo funny that you have a blog, but its a great idea! I look forward to reading more about your trip!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your trip - hopefully it won't be the closest I get to China - praying for your safe return and favorable placement in the competition - we love and miss you guys already!


(P.S. I'm slowly getting over the "click" thing LOL) Be safe!

Ron C. said...

So glad you accepted the challenge of a blog! It really makes the trip more meaningful for those on it and those that wish they were on it!!! Yeah, it sounds good to eat some native foods, but I knew I had to take it slow or have someone whom I trusted to help truly describe the food. Everyone's palate is not always up to the challenge!


Nice blog...Wow! Sounds like you all are having fun...

Bring me back a tie! (LOL)

Be safe.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear that you all made it safely. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I'm enjoying the pictures and comments. You're so good at describing things I feel like I'm there with you. Keep it up!!!

Peace and Blessing


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so glad you all made it safely!! I love the blog! Keep it up.

Delores said...

Really glad you two are having a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the experience. Don't forget to try the exotic restaurant!!!!

Michelle said...

You ate American food in China? How shameful! Did I write enough to get a gift?

jerry said...

Hey Kelly & Robert,

See if you can find me 3 suits, 3 shirts, 6 ties, and three pair of shoes for about $100.00

Your favorite dad


Anonymous said...

Kelly, Ok I am really late on finding the blog but it sounds like its been an exciting adventure, and you give such Great detail. I enjoyed being apart of CHINA. love you all. Your Hair looks Good Girl!