Friday, November 22, 2013

Back in Xi'an

We finally made it to Xi'an late Thursday night. Flights from Seattle to Beijing (more than 11 hours), then another 2 hours from Beijing to Xi'an. We left Seattle on Wednesday and landed in Xi'an Thursday, crossing the International Date Line, so we lost a day and I'm not even sure we ever flew at night until we got to China, we kept chasing the sun as we flew.

It's been 5 years since we were in Xi'an adopting Jake. We love the city and have been dreaming of coming back, so Jake can see once again the area where he was from. He was not even 2 last time so he doesn't remember anything. Hopefully, this trip he will gain some memories he can cherish and keep forever.

One of our favorite things about Xi'an is the Terra Cotta warriors. I could see them 100 times and still be amazed. The first emperor of China created the army to guard him in the afterlife. They've identified the location of about 8,000 of the life-size clay figures and have unearthed and restored 2,000-3,000. It's amazing, each of the of them is different — no 2 look alike in the face. They also were beautifully and colorfully painted, but most the paint has been lost through the years, and when they are exposed to the air when they are unearthed the paint just flakes off. That's a shame. I can only imagine how awesome they would look in full color.

We went to see the warriors again today (Friday). Jake obviously was more attentive today than he was when he visited with us in 2008. He asked a lot of questions. I love that he's so inquisitive.

Here are a few photos of the day:

This is Jake with Pandie the Panda. Pandie is coming along on the trip on behalf of Jake's class at McKinley Elementary School. We've been taking pics of Pandie at locations along the way and emailing them to Jake's teacher. Hopefully, she's been getting them.

Jake as a Terra Cotta warrior. He looks good.

Seeing the Terra Cotta warriors all lined up is breath-taking. This building (the largest of 3) is huge. It houses the first warriors uncovered and restored.

One more full day in Xi'an. We're hoping to be able to see Jake's orphanage and his finding place. His orphanage apparently no longer cares for children, just senior citizens and adults with special needs, so we won't be able to visit, but we can drive by and hopefully get some photos of Jake there. His finding place, well, our guide is going to try to locate it. We sure hope we are successful. Sunday afternoon, we fly to Chongqing and will be united with Jude on Monday. ... Kevin

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