Location: Baotou

Our day started with a little bit of service at Dew Drops Little Flower in Baotou. The children in Baotou are generally older than the ones we were used to in Beijing. This morning, some of us went with the older kids (7 to 9 years old ) outside to play with them. It was a really fun hour of them screaming for joy as we lifted them to the big slides and helped them slide down. We also witnessed a very sweet moment between Manuel and all the kids as they all sat down with him on a swing and counted up as they went.

Lunch was however already upon us. We enjoyed a delicious dish made by the staff of beef, potato, and corn around our tiny, colorful furniture before hopping onto the bus for a 3-hour ride. The bus ride was very long, but the back of the bus was full of a lot of music, from French rap to heavy metal.

Upon arrival in the yurt resort, we were welcomed by two singers in traditional wear and holding a cup of clear, yet strong wine (fear not, none of us drank out of that bowl). We were immediately surprised by the size of the resort, but also the lack of quality or hygiene of some infrastructure (hum hum toilets). We settled down in our yurts, five in one yurt with Ghengis Khan staring at us with a fake yarn beard. We explored the resort for a little while, strolled through the grasslands and did some stretching and games.

After a filling dinner, a few of us went on a hike up the mountain before the start of the show. We passed the horses and saw a “blood moon” rise above them from the mountain behind them; it was a gorgeous sight. We also saw all the fireworks from all around our resort, celebrating the lunar eclipse. As we came back down, we could hear the music starting to play, so we rushed back to the yurts to warn the others. A small group of us went and stood by the fire before watching the show. It was quite a strange show, but I think we can all agree in saying that it was still fun. AT one point a lady on stage told us to unite around the fire, and we learned some Mongolian moves. After that, we were all quite tired, so we decided o go back to our yurts to sleep.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If this was liquor, everybody is drunk!” – (Joy after trying to motivate everyone to hydrate more by cheering us with plastic bottles of water)