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Location: China

None of us had predicted our alarm clock’s failure to ring at the set time of five o’clock this morning, leaving the group scampering about to gather bags and clothes in what turned out to be not much more than a few minutes. Having woken up just a bit after our scheduled departure, we were somewhat delayed and hurriedly rushed out the door and onto the bus with travel items and snacks on hand. It was especially unfortunate that the seats were so cramped, and the ride would turn out to be quite a bumpy one. After a brief speech from the founder of Little Flower regarding Tai Yuan and his experience arriving there twenty years or so ago, we took off for the road, passing through the city and then the countryside beneath a towering grey sky. Our bus ride lasted about six hours before we took a bit of time and stopped for lunch, enjoying local dishes and the air-conditioned indoors in contrast from the humidity coating the outside. We then took off for one of the world’s most incredible Buddhist temples. This one having been carved into a Cliffside over 1500 years ago. Many relics and statues stood preserved within the rooms of the monastery, and the view was astounding from every balcony or perch looking over the edge. As we finally headed back on the bus, the group continued onward towards tonight’s destination– a beautiful hotel far nicer than our Beijing residence. Dinner was delicious as it has been nightly since our arrival in China, and before heading to our rooms we met in the hotel lobby for the Lifeworks forum, this evening’s questions revolving around over-population and selective abortion in the country.