Day 6 was our first full day in Xi’an. Yesterday we travelled by bullet train to our next city, Xi’an. The train was a very cool experience. It was almost like an airplane except you could see everything you were passing on the ground. Today started with trying out a new breakfast. The breakfast had similar foods to the first hotel, but this hotel had more choices. After breakfast, we made our way to the Children’s Village.
The Children’s Village is a place for kids to live whose parents are in jail. There are currently 54 children from the age of four to twenty at this one location. There is a total of nine locations a crossed China. This non-profit organization was founded in 1996 by a police officer. Since 1996 they have helped over 10,000 children. The exact location we visited has helped more than 700 children. Their goal is to make sure the children are healthy mentally and physically. To ensure this they hire psychologists to make sure they are mentally healthy. The children attend the local middle school for school. They also have volunteers come to the village to teach dance lessons or teach them how to play chess. Today while we were there, they had many activities planned for us to do with the kids. At the beginning, we got a tour of the village. Next, we did a performance for the kids to watch. They enjoyed laughing at us while we struggled with our performance. Then, we gave them chocolate to enjoy. Some of the little boys enjoyed the chocolate a little too much. We then went to the basketball court and played with basketballs and soccer balls. It was really neat to see them interact with us. They were very shy at first but once we started playing games, they started to get more comfortable. After playing at the basketball court we moved to play ping pong. The children were very excited to show us their skills. They were very talented and did beat most of us. We were then called for lunch. We ate with the children in the cafeteria which was really neat. I was very surprised to see how they had to clean up and do the dishes after they finished. After lunch we made our way back to the bus to head back to the city.
Our next stop for the day was at the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. We saw a water show as we were walking in with Chinese music which was cool. The Great Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous Buddhist temple in East Asia. The structure of the temple incorporates special brackets. These brackets ensure the temple does not fall over during earthquakes. After exploring the temple for a while, we went to a Calligraphy class. During this class we learned about the techniques and the 8 simple strokes they use. After dinner we went to the Muslim Street and did some shopping. This street has many street vendors selling food and souvenirs. We ended the night with getting ice cream and heading back to the hotel.