Our first excursion of the day was to the Hanging Monastery. After driving for a while through scenic mountains we found ourselves, looking at a beautiful monastery built on the side of the cliff. We walked up to the top and looked around a bit before we began our long bus ride to the state-run orphanage.
At the orphanage, we were only allowed to see the children who were part of the Little Flower section of the orphanage, which included babies and long term care for mentally disabled children. We split into two groups where half of us went to each section. I started at babies where we got to see some babies we knew from Beijing. There were more babies than we could all hold, but I think we gave out a good amount of cuddles before we went to play with the children in long-term care. The Ai Yis or nannies, who work in this section of the orphanage are truly incredible. They work so hard and are so patient. Most of the children we played with couldn’t communicate with us, but we still found games to play and made lots of kids laugh which was very rewarding.
For dinner, we went to a noodle restaurant where they put on a noodle show for us. They made noodles in interesting ways. For example, while riding a unicycle. They also sang for us, so we had to sing for them. We all took turns going up on the stage singing and dancing while people took videos. After such a long, emotional day, it was great to have a fun, crazy night.