Slowly descending down the elevator shaft I prayed for my safety and for the mom and child that were with me. When the doors slowly opened I made my way out of my apartment and onto the streets where I was met by a nauseating smell. Holding back my tears I pressed on and followed our guide into an alley behind my apartment. Wet from the night before, I carefully maneuvered my way around puddles of water and what I hoped was mud. Bikes, children, and grandmas were shuffling their way down the streets carefully eyeing the foreigners as we made our way down the final stretch of gravel. Our guide took us into a small restaurant that had a doorway made out of plastic hanging from the top. Slowly pushing the plastic aside I made my way to our table which was circular and had a small rotating circle in the middle. After some time we ordered our food and out came dish after dish of this delicately made food that had an aroma to fill the room. Delicious vegetable dishes and various meat dishes were placed in front of us. Each person would reach over and grab from the dishes causing a frenzy of chopsticks and sauce flying in every direction. After the frenzy was over I was stuffed to the brim and began to hobble myself back to my apartment to sleep off my first authentic Asian meal.
This first week has been both hard and amazing. Our apartment setup has been stressful, but little moments like the story above makes it an awesome experience. We got electronic bikes that go roughly 25 mph to get around the city. It is a scary experience when cars are zooming past you while you are trying to cross the street on an e-bike. There are many little kids in our apartment complex and they are so adorable…I need one. I cannot wait to see what else the Father will let me experience in this crazy/awesome country. Please pray for the apartment and an easy time adjusting in this new culture.