Location: Beijing

Even though waking up this morning was quite challenging, I think everyone was excited to switch up our service rotations and meet some new kids. I worked at the China Little Flower Baby Home yesterday, so today I headed to the group home center for the older children with Emily, Grace, Lexi, Elise, and Susan. We were met with a room of smiling children (all around the age of 4-6) with their foster parents whom we were going to try to teach a few English words. After exchanging “ni hao’s,” we used games, repetition, hand signals, and arts and crafts to teach them the words “rain, sun, and wind.” We decorated construction paper crowns with cut out representations of these words and headed outside to join some of the older kids in Frisbee, badminton, piggyback rides, rock-paper-scissors, and running races. It was sad to say goodbye, but we were all ready to meet up with everyone else back at the apartment for a spaghetti lunch cooked by our chef’s of the day Christina and Aidana. We then drove over to Roundabout, a charitable thrift store about 10 minutes away. We helped sort through and folded hundreds of donated clothing items and organize the storefront. I think everyone was surprised at the strange and hilarious things that people donated, and we had some fun trying them on and throwing them at Hannah ☺. At the end of the day, we had packed up tons of bags full of clothing that will be delivered to needy people around the country. Almost all of the profit made by the store also goes to helping both children and adults with medical and living-situation problems. I was particularly exhausted after standing up for hours, but had so much fun! For dinner, I tried steamed dough balls for the first time and am now listening to everyone sharing their high and low moments of the day. Rest assured parents that everyone had a lot more good than bad! Overall, this day and entire trip so far have been one of the most fun times of my life, and I can’t wait to spend the next 18 days with all these amazing people! wǎn ān!