Location: Beijing, China

To me, life needs to be new…

By new, I mean that life shouldn’t be a variation of a cycle that is repeated everyday. That’s why I love to dance on spot- even if I happen to be sitting on a bus and gaining a questioning stare. To keep today new I chose to attend a church service in the morning, that was an optional choice. The service, itself, replaced my standard morning routine of working with either the baby or group home(although most of the group home children with their family were attending the church service). The service was done in Chinese, which was fun to hear. Some of the little ones (around age of two) were walking around while the older children and the parents were trying to keep them quietly amused and getting them to listen. At one point, a little girl climbed onto my chair as we were standing up, singing a song. After the service we went back to the apartment complex and met with the group home children, again, to play outside. As always, the children were energetic and indecisive in their choice of activity- either playing ball, throwing a Frisbee, running around with a rope, drawing with chalk or just walking around the edge of the park. I’m always surprised that the other people who are living in the complex will bring their kids or sit on the benches to watch us play with the kids. 

Many times, I find myself wondering what they think of us. I find myself acknowledging that they don’t understand that I’m an American and it shocks them when I tell them that I don’t speak Chinese.  Whenever we are walking around, I see the obvious eyes roaming over some of the girls in our group and I see the cameras and phones pointed in our direction. Today, we went to the 798 Art District. There we split up into groups of at least three and adventured. It was fun to see the street art and graffiti. The creativity that is shown on the street is just as amazing as walking into the galleries. It was fun to look at all the Asian couples and see the teenagers casually walking around, just as we do in the United States. Its fun to try to bargain and to watch some of the girls in the group strike a good deal for you, just by dancing. It definitely caught a lot of eyes, yet I’m not entirely embarrassed (like I would be in the United States) because I’m in China. It’s a great excuse to belt out a song and dance on the streets. I can expose my silly side and have fun. There hasn’t been a day that gone by without anyone laughing. Were all bonding through silly dancing- including the dreaded twerk (which appears to not be a word according to Microsoft) -and joking. It’s all a wonderful experience and I’m sure we are all glad that we are apart of it.