Saturday, August 20


being in china has been an adventure. xining, where marty lives, has
about 400 foreigners in a "town" of about 2 million people. so not so
many people speak english. the only english on signs often doesn't
make any sense or is simply a transliteration of the chinese words
(which is very helpful....). so just being here has been an adventure.
walking down the street, going to restruants, going through the
markets, taking taxis or busses. we have had marty or yaqin with us
for pretty much everything, but it's still been a little crazy.
but yesterday, we had a real adventure. we were going to go up to a
village in the mountains to visit some friends of theirs, eat the
iftar meal with them (the meal that muslims eat to break their fast
during ramadan), spend the night, and come back to xining today. on
the way to the village, we drove through another little village and
there was a tibetian archery competition going on. so of course we
stopped to have a look. because really, how often do you see a
tibetian archery competition in a little chinese village?
so marty let us out, found a place to park, and we watched for about
ten minutes. i took some pictures (including pictures of people taking
pictures of me), we had our pictures taken with random people, because
we are foreigners, we listened to some really loud, slightly obnoxious
tibetian singing (which was actually sung by a muslim who was not
tibetian). then we headed back to the van.
and when we got to the van, i noticed something was a little off. like
we were missing a window. yup. we got robbed. fun times.
actually, we didn't get robbed. i had my purse with me that had my
passport, money, and camera and jason had his wallet. marty had his
wallet, yaqin had her purse, so whoever broke in got a bad deal. they
dumped all of our clothes out of our bags and did take the bag of a
girl who was with us, shelly, but all it had was clothes and a bible.
so the little thug (who we assume was a boy) just got a bible and some
teenage girl clothes. probably not what he was expecting when he broke
into a van that had foreigners in it.
so instead of going to the village, we got to spend the afternoon
waiting for the police to show up, waiting for the police to take
pictures, waiting at the police station for them to take our
statements, waiting for the computer to work right so they could take
our statements. the police were actually really helpful - much more
helpful than i anticipated. they were sooooo embarressed and
apologitic for something like this happening in their city. they made
the case a priority case and were very nice. but, still not the way
that we wanted to spend the day.
but there is some silver lining. i was so close to taking our computer
with us so i could use it to charge our camera and put pictures on if
our memory card filled up. but i decided that i didn't want to carry
it around. it would hav been in the van, which would have made the
whole thing way worse. marty and yaqin now have really good standing
with the police in that village, so if they ever want to go there to
share Jesus, it will be a lot easier for them to do.
so all in all, not our favorite day here, but not as bad as it could
have been. plus, i feel like every trip has to have some story like
this, so at least we got it out of the way.

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