We sent the Kid (our youngest, the 17 year old) off to meet his 21 year old brother in Beijing yesterday... it only slowly dawned on us that he (the younger) was going to have to go through customs and a short layover on his own in a place I'd never heard of - Ningbo, a city that ( I looked it up on Wikipedia) is about seven THOUSAND years old and has a population of nearly 7 MILLION. Very few of whom, I imagine, speak English.
You have to understand that Wayne and I have yet to set foot in Mainland China, partly because of the somewhat pricey visa for Americans, partly because we were waiting for the right occasion -- which is coming up, by the way. But the point is that China is still very much terra incognita for the two of us.
Because Elder Brother was in class (on a Saturday afternoon!!! Things are definitely different in China), the Kid was going to have to figure out his own way from the Beijing airport to the university area where Elder Brother was providing him with a couch (but the Kid was supposed to bring his own pillow and blanket, which he did).
The meeting place was going to be the KFC near the university, so we downloaded sheaves of bus schedules and maps (in both Chinese and English) hoping the Kid was going to find both the right university and the right KFC. We bought a new SIM card for use in China, but had trouble getting it to work.
His anxious father kept plying him with more money as he left, as we imagined more and more scenarios where he might have to pay for a hotel and/or a looong taxi ride.
The good news? A delay in Ningbo meant that Elder brother was able to pick him up at the Beijing airport after all.
So both boys should have a good time spending all that extra "emergency money" this week. God bless 'em.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone. -- Psalm 91:8-9