Last fall, my daughters' dance studio was asked to represent the US in a cultural dance festival in China in September of 2007. They were asked to participate by Onstage America, a dance competition their studio participates in. I have gone through the motions of paying fees, turning in information, informing their schools of their upcoming absence, all without allowing myself to think too much about it. It is a 14 hour direct flight to Beijing and once we are there and they have participated in the festival, we will travel overnight on a 10 hour train ride to a city called Luoyang where they will perform for a another local festival. And then we have to repeat the travel to return home, a total of 44 hours in transit.
As the girls' anticipation builds, dread builds in me. I have difficulty flying; I have a fear of heights and get claustrophobic in confined spaces. I feel panicked and stressed in large crowds and some Chinese friends of ours have told us that we have never seen crowds of people like there will be in Beijing. Thankfully, my husband is going with us. I've told him his one mission while we are there is to keep up with me; his tendency is to go off in any direction that appeals to him leaving me to keep up. He doesn't think there's going to be a problem as we will be traveling around with 150 other people from the studio.
In several of her bible studies, Beth Moore has told stories about how God has blessed her with wonder and awe when she has pushed past her fears and accepted the adventure. I'm praying that I haven't let her talk me into something I'm going to regret!
We leave September 19 and return September 30. This is our hotel in Beijing: http://www.Ziyu-hotel.com/