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A day or so ago (“so” being a conveniently vague term), I extended the carrot of future stories about our August mission trip to China. Well today you get to munch on that carrot (something I haven’t done since being forced to in 2nd grade, by Julie Spencer’s mom, Mrs. Allen). It’s a long flight over there and you must find ways to entertain yourself and your teens on the plane. Once, on the way to the Dominican Republic, future missionary Mackenzie Walker brought the Jelly Belly Beanboozled Game. This game has jelly beans of various colors, of which one is pleasant tasting and another of the same color is horrible tasting. Such as, of two identical brown beans, one could taste like chocolate and one could taste like dog food. As the teens and I played this game, throughout the plane, trying not to regurgitate on people we didn’t know (TESTIMONY FIRST), our flight from New York (Herbie’s fault) to the Dominican flew right by (pun intended). On our way to Cambodia once, I watched an entire movie, on the one large screen China Air provided, in Chinese. As the credits rolled, future legal missionary Seth Kraus, awoke and asked me “how the movie was”? I explained it was hard to understand and follow the plot. With the roll of his eyes and the flip of a switch, my earbuds were suddenly filled with my native English language. I also enjoy competing and mostly beating my teens (those last 3 words not my best phraseology) in group trivia.

On this flight to China, I made it to the last leg of the flight with few incidents. However on the final leg of our journey, I was seated on the last row with a very gregarious and inebriated Chinese gentleman who continually attempted to sneak into my briefcase, which I had placed in the empty seat between us. He would also introduce himself, ask if we could be friends, hand me his business card and then fall asleep. This pattern was repeated at least 4 times, as I still have 4 of his business cards. When we finally landed, he insisted on helping me with my carry on luggage despite my repeated promises that “I was fine”.  It required some discreet explanation unto our missionary Mark Tolson, to clarify why he and the dear church members, who had graciously arrived in the middle of the night to greet and assist the American Christians they had heard much about, were met by a drunken Chinese man stating rather loudly that he was my “new best friend”. My BFF actually carried my luggage all the way to our awaiting bus and would have gotten on our bus, had I not insisted on putting him in a taxi. It was, I must admit, an entertaining way to pass the time, as well as being my “welcome to China moment”. At this point I had no idea of the unique, funny and glorious moments that awaited our group (which I will share in quick fashion) but I was thankful that I had at least not been regurgitated on by my new best friend.

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