Location: Everyone was
We started the day with more time in the morning spent taking care of and playing with the babies at the home before we headed off (after a nice lunch of pasta and salad with “American Caesar”) to a local park to learn some Wushu, which is Chinese martial arts. After a relatively short, but what seemed like a super long, walk to the park, we met the Wushu instructor and started our training. At first, we were all confused; our instructor made us do karaoke, running and jumping with cones that reminded me a lot of gym class. But then as our lesson developed, we started to do some kicks and punches like those from Kung Fu Panda. About a half hour later, we began to notice some strange things in the roads next to us; a few cars in the road had slowed down to stare at us, another completely stopped and pulled over to the end of the little street we were on. We had become the tourist attraction for the locals in Beijing! This continued throughout and after our Wushu demonstration, to the next morning, when we were playing a game in the courtyard of the hotel, and two Chinese locals came out of the hotel and watched us and even took pictures of us as they ate ice cream (I’m super jealous). We were also writing in our journals in the lounge of the hotel when I think the same people came out and peeked over our shoulders, curious about what we were all so focused on. The situation was pretty funny, maybe because I wasn’t the one they were staring at. Currently, we are sorting out clothing from donations at the Roundabout Center, which is a social enterprise that forwards items or sells them as donations to charities (more than 48 in Beijing alone and more throughout China!). There is no AC, so we are all sweltering and dusty, but we made it through a lot of boxes and as the cardboard piles up, I am feeling pretty proud of the progress we’re making. Tomorrow, we are heading to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and we are super excited for more adventures to come during our student volunteer service program! Stay tuned for our next China travel blog entry.