Location: Inner Mongolia
Day 14 began with a wake-up call for breakfast at 7:30 am. As we ate breakfast Drew, Elizabeth, and I discussed what we did the night before. As usual, we constantly laugh together telling stories. After two cups of coffee, we decided to head upstairs to pack since we would be moving to the yurt tonight. After meeting downstairs, we taxied over to the orphanage. The ride was hectic because the drivers are impatient and overconfident here, making for a horrible ride. Arriving a little late, we quickly split up into two groups – one for the babies and the other for the toddlers. I chose to play with the same baby as the day before. Her bright smile and sweet laugh were contagious. She was outgoing yet calm with her loving hugs. When it was time to switch groups, I went upstairs to play with the toddlers. Most of the toddlers were in a good mood besides this one kid who ONLY wanted food. After quite some time of trying to get the “hungry” kid to stop crying, I finally figured out that bouncing a ball next to him would do the trick. Soon after, it was time for lunch so we all said our goodbyes because we would not see the kiddos until Sunday. At lunch, we stuffed ourselves full and began to play games which led to playing some hilarious pranks on our counselors. Before leaving the orphanage, we were able to buy some awesome souvenirs that the orphans made. Not only were the souvenirs beautiful but also the money went back to the kids who made the souvenirs and cannot be adopted because they are older than 14. So, of course, we all made a fair share of purchases. Once the bus was loaded, we had a 5-hour car ride ahead of us that consisted of talking but mostly sleeping. We arrived at the yurts just in time to watch the sunset. While watching the beautiful sky on top of the mountain, Keeley led Drew, Elizabeth, and I in meditation. As the sun dropped lower, we watched the stars appear. When the sun went completely down, we joined the locals at a bonfire where we sang and danced. Since the night was coming to an end, we all got ready for bed and had one big sleepover in a yurt.