Maria Holland

Going Back To The Beginning

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

It’s the end of May, and you know what that means.  It’s time for me to head to China’s northeast – where it all began.  May 2007, when I first tasted meat sticks and knew I would be back.  May 2008, when I had my first conversation in Chinese (“Do you like it?  Yes, I like it”), and knew that there was more to talk about.  Now it’s May 2010, and I’m going back to my first Chinese home, going back to that first meat stick restaurant, and going back to talk to that first Chinese friend. 

Stay tuned for long walks – nay, marathons – down memory lane in the upcoming days.  But I’ll be seeing everything with new eyes and hearing everything with new ears, because “I was once was blind, but now I see”.  I foresee a lot of “ah-HA!” moments, as I finally understand what the heck went on around me on those first few trips to China.

I’ll be traveling for the next 24 hours or so – about as long as it takes to get there from America, surprisingly.  My current itinerary is:

  • Flight from Xiamen to Changchun (19:30 to 00:30)
  • Train from Changchun to Yanji (04:00 to 12:30)
  • Bus from Yanji to Hunchun (2-ish hours?)
  • Taxi from Hunchun to the farm

But, let’s admit it – I’m in China, and I’ll get there when I get there.  And my computer will be there (wherever that is) with me, so I’ll be sharing my adventures as they happen.


Today is maybe a big day in the history of my blog (all 9 months of it), as Frank from YIM Catholic asked if he could run my recent post, We Are One Body, as a guest entry on their blog.  I’m hoping that this will help me reach more people! 

When I first decided to keep a public journal on my year in China, I saw it more as a way to keep in contact with loved ones at home, but as the year has progressed I’ve come to see another important use.  Looking at the bottom of the homepage, it’s pretty obvious that I write a lot about my experiences with Catholicism here in China.  My experiences aren’t authoritative – most aren’t even theological in any way – but the personal connection to our brothers and sisters in Christ here has become very precious to me, and I want to share it with the world.  While there are temporal divisions between the Catholic Church here and the Catholic Church in the rest of the world, there’s no reason why we can’t be united in prayer and mutual love. 

Another reason why sharing this news is so important to me is that, while I’ve enjoyed almost 9 months with the Church here in China, I missed out on it for my first 3 months in China.  There was so little information, and so much misinformation, that I never bothered to look for a Catholic Church until I literally ran into one.  While the open church here isn’t in full communion with Rome, there’s no reason to forego the sacraments in China. 

So now I 出发, heading up to Hunchun.  I should be there on Sunday, where I plan to attend Mass at that church, the place where I first discovered that the Church was in China.

  1. Excellent post Maria and thanks again for letting me share your work with others at YIM Catholic. Godspeed(and keep us apprised of your progress)!

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