Location: China

New Hope is an organization close to where we stay here in Beijing that helps care for orphaned children who need attentive medical care. Today, we spent the entire day playing with these spirited children and meeting some other volunteers over a delicious lunch in the area.  Still tired from yesterday’s sightseeing, we all woke up later than usual and, as a result, boarded the van 30 minutes later than planned. The 40-minute bus ride was filled with some snoozing and gaps in between of jamming to some Chinese pop songs on the radio. The driver is an excellent DJ.  When we got to New Hope, we got a tour led by the director, Rebecca, who told us the story of New Hope and how it came to be, from Robin and Joyce to the five branches of New Hope around China. Everyone was itching to meet the kids. Right after the tour, we finally were allowed to disperse ourselves among the three large rooms of kids. Each room was equipped with toys, stuffed animals, a ball-tub and a slide. We played all morning until the kids had to eat lunch and take their afternoon nap. During these two hours, we got the chance to go to a local restaurant with a few other volunteers and then a five-day street market. Although we were all sticky and sweaty from the walk outside in the humidity, our energy didn’t cease as we realized there was a trampoline in the yard. Then, when we headed back to be with the kids, it turned out that they wanted to go outside to play. A few of us stayed in to play, while a few others headed outside again. Those of us outside jumped and bounced on the trampoline for quite a while until eventually everyone came outside and sat together on the trampoline. As it wasn’t a huge trampoline, it became a bit cozy with all nine of us holding, cuddling, and playing with babies outside in the sweltering weather-but the temperature was no matter because we were too busy having fun with the kids! Soon, it was time to go back to headquarters to get ready for dinner. One by one, we said “Goodbye” to the kids and once again boarded the van.  It was a fantastic day (lol @myself)