Datong Day 8
The students and our team took yesterday (Sunday) off, so today I'll send out 1 shout-out now and another later today to get everyone caught up.
Yesterday our team split into four groups. All groups included some of the students and Chinese assistants so we could enjoy and learn in a different way from each other.
Group 1 - Go for a 2 mile walk to the base of a mountain and follow the trail up as far as we could go. No worries loved ones, it was an easy walk.
Group 2 - Go for a day on the town eating and shopping at your leisure.
Group 3 - Hang out at the school campus.
Group 4 - Go to students homes who had the invitation.
Weather: Clear skies light breeze with temps starting out at 68 degrees and heading to 90 degrees. We all headed our separate group ways at 8:00 after breakfast, then all checked in at 6:00 and then out again visiting, eating and shopping in the town till 9:00 that evening. Some of the more responsible ones stayed back at 6:00 to do laundry, prep for tomorrow and catch up on some rest.
From the stories I heard from our team, yesterday was very beneficial to them and our students. Group 1 was the group I was in. After a 30 minute walk out of the town we were in the country side at the base of the mountain range. Along our path we came across a bee keeper and his wife who were SO EXCITED to see us all. We got an education on bees, saw one of probably 30 queens, tasted raw honey in the honeycomb and spent time getting to know our new friend and share our love. So important to stop and take time to listen and share. That is just one benefit to being on a trip as this one. If you allow yourself to stop and listen to Him, He will show you so much and the rewards both parties receive, will stay in your heart forever. After that we headed up the path on the mountain. The view was amazing. Directly behind us, the mountain range. Lush with trees with outcroppings of giant shear rock faces and a narrow set of steps winding in and around the rocks and steep valleys. No one (locals and tourist) was allowed to climb the steps due to the age and potential of falling rocks. In front of us was the town (our town) of Hun Yuan Shanxi far below, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Shanxi is about a 45 minute drive from Datong. As we faced north with the city below, Inner Mongolia was just on the other side of that northern mountain range. I could see every ones faces as we all looked down on the city. How many know what we know. We walked half way down, stopped and sang "All In" by Matthew West. Let me stop right there,,,, and invite you to join us sometime to see the country and scenery of hearts longing to meet and know you. I'm told this mountain range is one of the top 10 destinations for summer vacationers. I can definitely recommend.
From what I heard from our other teams, they had equally great interactions with the locals and students throughout the day.
I few shout-outs:
Louise: I'm over jet lag and had a good nights sleep! Tell Andy we've had a couple of rainy days and everything is green here. Dale
Shout out to my brother James, Rebecca, Ben, Nathan and Sam. Today we are touring somewhere. The group has become like family. Hard to believe 10 days have gone by. Miss the crocked pots. Love you mom and dad. Jeffery
We continue to see Him open eyes of children. Lift Kate and Jane. How are you? I think of you often Larry. Thank you for being such a good husband. Children, grandchildren, I miss you so much. Grandkids, do right, be light, ALRIGHT??I love you.....to the moon and back. Nana
Susan: Does that surprise you I did the mountain group? LOL. You know me, let's get out there and see the world. The mountain range reminded me of the mountains in Colorado in the summer and the mountains in Hawaii. Bright sun, low humidity and bright blue ski. We were on the back side of the range. For another year if the opportunity is there, it would be fun to take a group to the front side of the mountain and hike actual trail heads. They have had a lot of rain here and had closed some of the trails. Love you. Dave W.