Day 6 – Children’s Village & Wild Goose Pagoda

Today I woke up a bit late but quickly got ready and rushed down to breakfast. The breakfast was decent. I had french toast, a croissant, and a hash brown. Overall, I was satisfied and when we finished, we made our way to the lobby to go to the Children’s Village, which was a service learning experience. We learned beforehand that the kids’ parents were in jail so they were put in this facility to be taken care of and put in a safe environment. When we first arrived, we got a tour of the place. We saw where they were taught, where they sleep (which had 4 beds in each room), and where they eat. We then were brought to a room with other visitors and we watched a video about the facility and the children living there. It was sad to see the children leave their parents and when they visited them in jail, it was also saddening to see them separate again, as they only see them once or twice a year. After the video, some of the kids living there put on performances like singing and dancing. We were then asked for one of us in our group to perform but none of us were up to it so we said “ni hao.” After the video, we went back to play basketball with the boys and some of the girls came out to play jump rope and with this hake sack type toy. One little girl showed us how to hake sack with the toy and when it was my turn, I kicked it once and that’s it. To say the least, I was not very good. Also, when we went into a circle to keep it up as long as we could, I kicked it and the toy broke, all the pieces flying everywhere. I felt bad but tried helping her put it back together. Candice and I then played jump rope with the same little girl. When she ran away, I started playing some basketball with some of the boys. Yet another sport I was not good at but I attempted to shoot a basket. After playing with the children, it was time for lunch. We lined up to get our food and selected some rice, some sauce, and noodles. It was pretty tasty. I noticed that the kids in the facility did their own dishes and the older kids did the dishes for the younger ones which I thought was sweet, but again I felt bad for their situation. Before we left, I made sure to buy one of the decorations they make. Then we went to the Wild Goose Pagoda, which was a Buddhist place where monks pray. It was cool to see the Chinese architecture and the Indian-styled interior. We then had a calligraphy class in which a man taught us some of the Chinese characters and what they meant. After he was done, he offered to do our names or blessings for 50 RNB so I bought 2. After visiting the Wild Goose Pagoda, Candice and I got ice cream from Haigan Daas which was so refreshing. Then we got on the bus to make our way back to the hotel for some free time. We wanted McDonald’s so we asked the concierge and they told us it was a 15-20 minute walk straight down the road. Well, 45 minutes later, we couldn’t find it so we turned around and got pizza back at the hotel. Then we were pretty tired after our long mislead excursion so we went to sleep.

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