April 5, 2012 – Day Six

Day Six:

Today we went to the Great Wall of China! I am exhausted! It has so many steps.

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April 4, 2012 – Day Five

Day Five:

Today we headed back to Harmony House and cleaned up their outside play area along with some hardcore cleaning inside the house. Some of the children helped us clean and some just played while we worked.We stopped to have lunch with the kids and then got right back to cleaning. After cleaning up the orphanage we said our final goodbyes to the children and went back to the hostel changed our clothes and headed out for some shopping at the Pearl Market. You can almost find anything there and you can get it at an extremely low price.

 

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April 3, 2012 – Day Four

Day Four:

This morning we got up, got ready, then we all headed to breakfast. After breakfast we headed to the Lobby of the hostel and waited until our tour guide came, after he arrived we loaded the bus and took a long ride to a Special-Needs orphanage called Harmony House, where I met some of the most amazing children who I could not communicate through words with but by actions of love and just simply playing with them. When I first arrived at the house we entered in through the door and several of the children were in the living room playing. The nannies invited us to go sit on the couches and maybe even start playing with the kids if we wanted to. I just sat on the couch and within seconds I had a three year-old who had hopped in my lap, from then on the two of us were inseparable; she was either in my arms or pulling me everywhere  and pointing at things and showing me things. We took the children to a park where they could play and just get out of the house. After the park we took the kids to Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch (which is actually really good in China). After lunch we took the kids home.  After being with the orphans most of the day we said our goodbyes until the next day and headed to the Night Market which is a street with an exotic range of food vendors. Some of the members of our group tried scorpions and silk worms(not me). After that we stopped to have dinner and head back to the hostel.

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April 2, 2012 – Day Three

Day Three:

Today I strangely woke up extremely early for not getting much sleep. I got up about 6:00 am, where at home I do not wake up that early ever. After we woke up we got ready for the day and then went to breakfast which had American items as well as Chinese. I played it safe and got a little bit of both. After breakfast we had a small amount of time to finish getting ready if we needed to. Then we met up with our guide in the welcome area in the hostel, and headed out for the Bank to convert some American money to Chinese Yin. After that we hopped on the bus and went to tour a Catholic Church which was gorgeous! After, we rode  in rode rickshaws to a family’s house where we made dumplings with them and ate lunch with them. Then we went to the Temple of Heaven a sacred place for the Chinese culture. We spent most of the day exploring around that area. After that we just headed back to the Hutong where our hostel was located and explored the night market there.

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March 31, 2012 – Day One Through April 1, 2012 – Day Two

Day One/Two:

I stayed up most of the night last night, and only got about an hour of sleep before having to wake up for my flight. It was a bright and early morning, I was nervous, I had butterflies. I think I was more excited than nervous but the mixed feelings caused the butterflies. I had a flight out of Raleigh-Durham Airport to the Toronto, Canada Airport which was a breeze, but I had a six-hour layover in Toronto which was hard because I was too excited to get some rest. After our layover we boarded the plane for a twelve hour and twelve minute flight to Beijing, China. Life on the plane was great for the first hour but sitting in a nine person row for the next eleven hours sure did not sound fun. On the flight I was in and out of sleep because you only have so much room to sleep in and stretch out in the seat. When we landed it was already April first in China (we had lost a day). After landing we had to go through Chinese customs which we had to take very seriously because if you goofed off we would be sent out of the country. We all made it through and met with our tour guide at the transportation lot. From the airport we made our 2 hour trip to our hostel. I found out very quickly that New York City traffic was nothing compared to China’s. There may be four lanes on the road but there are five rows of cars. After arriving at the hostel we put our things in our rooms and cleaned up a bit from our flights we headed out into the Hutong where our hostel was located and started an adventure down the road dodging cars, people on bikes, and people riding mopeds. Strange smells that I have never smelled in my life were everywhere. One moment something would smell nice then the next it would smell like trash or waste. After our adventure down the road and headed back for a traditional Chinese meal at our hostel. The food is fresh and very different from what we think “Chinese food” is.  After dinner we explored the street a bit more and called it a night.

 

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