Location: The Great Wall of China

Though today was technically our third day, it was the first day of service and touring. After an hour and a half drive, we started with the biggest challenge of the day (and possibly the whole trip): climbing the Great Wall of China. Although it was hot and the stairs were steep, most of us managed to make it up 3 (very long) sets of stairs to enjoy the breathtaking view atop the wall. Seth and Keeley took it a step further and hiked the longer section. While the rest of us waited for them, we came across a chorus group, which was cool to see since they were from my home state! It was only 11:00 am, and we were so tired, but we were looking forward to visiting the children’s hospital for orientation at our service project. Once we arrived at the hospital, Rebecca, a representative of Dew Drops Little Flower, told us all about the foundation and gave us a tour of the fourth floor (the place where we would be working). It was touching to see the young children so full of joy despite the things they’ve been through. Service started earlier than expected when Rebecca offered to let us help clean the children’s play mats. Although it doesn’t seem enticing, I had a lot of fun talking to my roommates Lily and Maggie and speaking in Mandarin to the caretakers. We even were able to see a few adorable babies when the a-yis (Aunties in Mandarin) walked by with them. The combination of climbing the Wall and service had worn us out. However, so many of us took a nap on the way to dinner at Dew Drop Little Flower Headquarters, also known as Yang Fang. Still feeling groggy at dinner, we were quickly woken up with the card games Spaz and BS, which ended with a tough loss between Zelana and Alex. We were so thankful to get back on the bus and go back “home”, it is safe to say that everyone is worn out, but incredibly excited for the days to come.