It was a year ago today that we arrived in Beijing. Of course, I haven’t lived here for a year exactly – the unexpected four months in New Zealand takes a bit of a chunk out of the year but our home has been Beijing for a year now.
So we left our belongings in a shed in our friends’ garden:
Ate a lot of delicious Chinese food
Became co-pastors of a diverse and lively congregation who meet in the low-rise near this high-rise (not so visible from our apartment
Got to stand on the Great Wall of China
Learned to shop in markets (an ever-evolving skill!)
Experienced snow for the first time:
Had many lovely visitors (some of whom I sadly missed while in New Zealand)
Took our visitors to some of our favourite places in Beijing:
There’s no doubt a whole lot more that could be said about our year in Beijing. About spitting and traffic and air pollution. About how kind people are when we trot out our four hopeful Chinese words. About our Chinese language-learning abilities (Andrew’s better than mine). About living in a spacious, warm apartment. About missing our friends and family. About missing our dog. About the medical misadventures of a girl with sarcoidosis. About loving each other and loving our life in Beijing. It’s been a good year. A grace-filled year. Thank you for being companions in it – whether virtual or in-person, whether through blurry Skype connections, emails, visits or Facebook notes… We’re grateful for the wide-spread web of connection and community that sustain us… Here’s to the next twelve months’ adventure!