Location: Beijing

This morning, Sarah and I (Sheindel) made scrambled eggs and toast as well as cereal for breakfast. We all ate and got ready for the big day ahead of us, which was to include going to Dewdrops Little Flower as well as going to Roundabout. Arriving at Dewdrops Little Flower, we all washed our hands and instantly split up to the different rooms to play with the kids of different ages. In the main playing area, toddlers would run around, either playing with their A’yi (nanny in Chinese, respectively) or waiting excitedly to play with one of the students in our group. There were two other rooms, which were occupied by newborns, and students who got to experience kangaroo care (baby and student skin to skin contact to improve the baby’s health). Nick: “When we first arrived I started in the room with the toddlers and played with about three. They liked standing on my chest. I began trying to help a baby learn how to walk until I got called to the other room for kangaroo care. Kangaroo care was such an amazing experience. The baby was so warm. She slept for a while then got hungry, so I handed her over to the A’yi, and later we had to leave.” Sheindel: “I first went to the main playing area, where I played hide and go seek with a young girl. Later, I went to the infant’s section and held a baby with a cleft lip for over an hour. When the baby would cry, I would stand up and rock the baby, or I would sing to the baby, which helped. I then went back to the main playing area and played hide and seek with the girl again as well as tickled her and a five-year-old boy a lot. That made me happy, especially since when I would play with them, they would smile and laugh, clearly enjoying the time as much as I was.”

After playing with the kids at Dewdrops, Sara and I (Sheindel), the chefs of the day, made tacos with the help of Evan and Catherine. We divided the work together: I (Sheindel) cooked the meat as well as some of the onions, Sara did most of the cutting of the tomatoes and peppers as well as cooked the rest of the onions, Catherine grated the cheese and cut the lettuce, and Evan did some of the cutting as well as supervised that everybody was doing their job correctly. The food ended up tasting amazing, and everybody seemed to love the tacos that we made together.

 We then went to Roundabout to help sort games as well as other donation boxes there. With the games, we were instructed to open up the used package and double check that all of the contents of each game were present. If there were no pieces missing, we would write on the top that it was complete. However, when there were pieces missing, we would write on the cover the number of pieces missing. We do this because at Roundabout, they take all donations meant for charity, and they sort out what should go for charity or what should not. The donations not meant for charity are sold at Roundabout, similar to Goodwill, and the money gained goes to the charities directly. The consumer needs to know the condition of the product they are buying, which is why we write those labels on the games. During the game organization, the lady in charge pulled some of us aside to organize the donation boxes outside the building. We pulled two carts outside and put toys in one and clothes in the other. We put them in the back of the store to be organized.

 We came back to the apartment and had dinner prepared by the chef while we were at Roundabout (in China, it is common for a private chef to come to cook dinner). After that, we had ice cream! While washing the dishes and cleaning the dining area, many of us enjoyed and sang along to the songs playing in the music speaker. Some of us even started to dance! At the end of the night, we all gathered for the forum, which included deep discussion about our community service.