Location: Beijing, China

Hello loved ones who read this blog,

Today I was chef. I woke up extremely early at 6:00 to set up the breakfast for everybody and discovered the tremendously jet lagged Ben stretching and doing his daily pushups. After breakfast I got my phone back but the WiFi in China is useless due to government censorship. While the rest of the group was following the typical routine by doing service at the baby home, I stayed back and watched Catherine cook all the food to go into the tacos while I heated up the taco shells and discovered that I did not know how to cut tomatoes. After a delicious meal of tacos for lunch, we set off on our expedition into the heart of Beijing. Our first stop was the exotic food street where the most disgusting insects and arachnids were fried and skewered supposedly for human consumption. Ben was the only one who ate anything from that street. I think he ate a scorpion, crab head, fried ice cream, beef dumplings and crab apples. After the exotic food street, we went to Tiananmen Square. It was slightly rectangular. We were told to leave by one of the security guards because we took a group picture with the lifeworks flag. Then we took a long walk through the humid and incredibly polluted city of Beijing to the Forbidden City. By the time we got there everybody was tired, sweaty and ready to get into air conditioning. Unfortunately, we were not able to get into the Forbidden City due to their recent 80,000 person limit per day. We took another long walk all the way around the Forbidden City to get to the air-conditioned van. After the disappointing trip to the Forbidden City, we came back to the apartment to get ready for dinner. We went to a Peking duck restaurant where everybody got the opportunity to try some interesting Chinese cuisine. Mani and I ate white rice. It was deliciously plain — the best white rice I have ever had. On the way back from dinner, during a slight break in the pollution, we saw a rare sight in Beijing: the sun. It doesn’t look like the sun in the US. Through the multiple layers of smog, the sun looks like the moon. We came back to the apartment, watched Mulan and learned about Emily’s flawed view on cleanliness and maintenance. We might not be posting the blog for the next couple of days because tomorrow we are going on a trip outside of our comfort zone to Xian.