Day 6: Children’s Village and Greater Wide Goose Pagoda

Our first activity for today was visiting the Children’s Village. This program started in the mid-90s by a former police officer. What she wanted to do was provide a home for children whose parents are serving time in prison. What normally happens when both parents are in prison is, the children are to be cared by the grandparents, who may need assistance too. Often leading too unfit conditions for the children who may have to take care of themselves and their grandparents. Now there are many Villages setup throughout China, all of them being funded by donations and no government aid.

The village we visited had ~60 children, ranging between the age of 3-20. When touring the village, they explained that in the living spaces 16 people living there at a time. After the tour and presentation, we had the opportunity to hang out with the kids for about an hour. For the guys we were playing basketball, tried to teach them how to play knockout, and pass a soccer ball around.

The next visit we went to was the Greater Wide Goose Pagoda. It was a place of worship for Buddhist monks. One fun fact we learned about the pagoda was at one point the building was leaning, so the engineers had to tunnel under the pagoda on one side to loosen the soil. While we were there we had a Chinese calligraphy class, I really did not learn much from it. It seemed more like a tourist trap because towards the end is sound like a sales pitch. They were trying to sell scroll paintings for 750 yuan each, but I got similar ones at the Forbidden City for 250 yuan each.

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