I never thought I’d love you this much.

    The Warrior is a Child.
    Rural village: They smiled and laughed. Kings and queens. Little warriors.

    The faces of your people will forever be etched in my mind. Their smiles, the dreams veiled by their narrow eyes, the laughter, the rapid talk, the longing for connection, hidden behind the intricate nuances of culture and heritage.

    Happy Graduation!
    Graduation party for five dear friends. I miss them!

    I am fascinated, and at times, heart-broken by you. I have seen your wealthy, and I have seen your orphans. I have seen their beauty, and I have seen their brokenness. They make my heart leap. They make my heart ache.

    Little girl n yellow must be thinking, “Can we not eat our lollipops in peace?”

    I used to see you from a distance, and all I heard about you were news of fake food and escalator accidents. Territorial wars and stock leaps and crashes. Now, I am where you are, and I see you.

    <3 Sweet Tooth <3
    Laughter and chats while baking brownies

    I’m beginning to notice your little quirks and idiosyncrasies. I’m beginning to see past the facade. Yet what I see is still the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to you. You are complicated, and I find myself fascinated by you.

    The Naxi
    Beautiful painting at a local museum

    Fascinated by your colorful history and culture. By your reputation. By your grandiosity. But mostly, by your people.

    Summer Camp
    Who knew it was so hard to knock down paper cups with rubber bands?

    I love your people.

    Growing up, I never thought I would. I think it was all because of how Chinese people are portrayed in media back home. Elite. Noses upturned. Wealthy. I developed a wariness towards the Chinese, but I came here and I discovered that your people are… people. Warm, friendly, hospitable… with hopes, dreams and such great aspirations.

    We drew our self-portraits. With our eyes closed.

    Their smiles, their stories, their friendship will always be a part of who I am. They have left an indelible mark on me, one I would have for the rest of my life.

    Bracelet-Making at an orphanage. She was so happy to see the loom band coming together.

    Take care of your people, China. They are your treasure. They beam with pride and puff their chests at the notion that they are yours.

    This orphan pretended to be asleep when he saw me pointing the camera at him.

    I dream for you, China. I dream for your people. Thank you for some of the best memories I’ve ever had and many beautiful more yet to come.

    I love you.

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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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6 Comments on "Dear China"

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*sigh* it sounds brilliant! Wish I was there!


Beautifully written.

I especially love the fact that there is a larger message here….A message, and a reminder that we must always look beyond the stereotypes that inundate our society and toward the actual reality. We are all people; we all have our goods and bads, our warmth and coldness, our happiness and our suffering. We’re all many different people, but we all share in the human condition.


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