Yesterday was an incredibly long one for all of us. Waking up early to get to the airport, then I stayed up until 8:00pm last night to try to make sure I can get back on my normal school schedule for Monday. I woke up at 3:00am unfortunately and had a little bit of a hard time falling back asleep.
Coming home it was very nice to have familiar sights and smells. I loved having my milk and Cheerios for breakfast! However, there are certainly some things that I miss this morning as I sit here.
I will miss my 2$ meals that I can’t even finish, or the .16$ snacks from street vendors. It’s a bummer our clothes, shoes and electronics don’t cost a quarter of what they do in the US like they do here. It’s also quite fun being able to barter for every price even at restaurants with clearly marked prices haha. I will miss the meaningful conversations I’ve had with Christians in China. Their devotion of their entire selves to their mission here is inspiring. Many chose evangelism through their business as you will never get into China as a missionary. I will miss feeling safe everywhere I walk, as I never felt threatened or saw anything like a Chinese “gangster”. I will miss the wonderful friends I made and all the dinner and late night conversations we had together. While I have never really preferred the city over the country, the Chinese urbanization is truly mind boggling and I will miss the excitement that the atmosphere gave off.
However, I will not miss the smell and smog you can taste: the visibility of less than a mile. I will not miss the trash or general dirt everywhere from nonstop construction. I will not miss the constant stares or phones that come out to take my picture as walk down the street. I will not miss asking people what their life goals are only to hear shallow, empty answers, or even no ability to respond at all. I will not miss feeling watched. I once counted 35 surveillance cameras in one room. The great fire wall of China also made things difficult.
Overall, I will never forget my experience in China. God placed me on this trip for a reason for sure. I learned more about myself in these three weeks than I ever expected. This trip has helped me aim and modify my goals for the future as I live as a child of God.