With the 2008 Summer Olympics just weeks away our plans are coming together for our trip to Beijing. I will leave on July 29th and arrive in Beijing on the morning of the 31st. Just two hours later I will board Philippine Airlines and five hours later will land in Manila for a four day stay. Traveling to a very rural and poor part of this pro-American country I will help at a hospital set up by a Lakewood, WA doctor and her husband.
On August 5th I will travel back to Beijing and meet Rep. Dan Roach and grandson, Ethan (7). Together we will board China Air and fly to Chengdu. Guests of Children's Hope International (CHI) we will explore efforts being made to restore Sichuan Province in the aftermath of the May earthquake that devastated the region. CHI is working to house and care for orphaned children.
Representing Gov. Gregoire, on August 7th I will present the leaders of Sichuan Province, our sister state, with the promise of a new, privately-funded school building. Chengdu was largely spared, but the very poor rural area was hard hit. Hundreds of schools will be rebuilt.
The main purpose of our visit is to support daughter-in-law/wife/mother, Melanie Roach. Melanie will be competing August 10th (aired Aug. 9th in the states) in the Women's Olympic Style Weightlifting event. We were finally able to secure tickets! We will catch up with the Sumner High School Band which is playing in the opening ceremonies, climb the wall, and steam in the "feels like" 105 degree heat.
To watch Melanie go to NBCOlympics.com and look for the 53Kgs. weight class. She will lift in either the A or B session.