Location: Beijing

At 7:00 the lights on the train came on, it was time for everyone to wake up. As we ate breakfast and packed our belongings up, we were fast approaching the Beijing train station. Some of us made friends with the local people; we said our goodbyes and hopped off the train. The night before, on the train, we spent choreographing for our flash mob. Hannah, the counselor, told us we had to perform What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. We were ready for the challenge. We found a crowded area, dropped our bags and got in position. Stephanie started us with a countdown to get everyone’s attention. Despite having only a couple hours to put it all together, it went well! People pulled their phones to take videos and pictures, we definitely got everyone’s attention and probably made their day… hopefully we did! We got back to the apartment at noon and took much-needed showers! Mac n’ cheese and salad was on the menu for lunch, thanks to the girls who volunteered to make it. For our afternoon activities, we had service and a martial arts lesson. Half of us went to the group home, and the other half went to the baby home. We all missed the kids while we were away and we were excited to spend more time with them. After service, we returned to the apartment for our martial art lesson. We started with a warm-up and eventually got to the kicking and punching routines. I think everyone’s favorite part was learning self-defense. We learned how to potentially break someone’s wrist and how to put someone in a lock and hold the position. Dinner time came around, which consisted of the usual dishes, rice a veggie dish and meat! Next, we had our nightly forum; this one was different.

We started with a silent forum where Hannah read us a situation and people stand up it is applied to them. Then, we broke off into groups of four and talked about ourselves. It was a nice way to get to know each other on a more personal level. Finally, to end the day we gathered in the living room for a movie night! We watched an old time favorite Disney movie, Mulan! It was different now compared to when we were younger, it was more humorous and we understood the culture behind the storyline. All in all, it was a great day and the halfway point of the program. We can’t believe how fast time is flying!