July 18, 2011
On our third day of volunteering, we got the opportunity to visit the Great Wall. After spending the morning with the children, we headed to a delicious lunch of Beijing noodles, then reconvened in the lobby to head out to the famous site. After enduring a long bus ride, we arrived at the Great Wall. We jogged excitedly to a market near the base of the wall, and a few members of our group purchased straw hats. We then enjoyed a ski-lift ride to the top of the wall, which we opted for to save ourselves from a laborious hike. We enjoyed the view of the valley before setting out to traverse a small section of the immense wall.
Blistering heat, low entryways, and persistent vendors plagued our venture across the wall, but we managed to seek out the most prime photo opportunities. When we were ready to descend, we lined up at the top of the Great Wall Luge. One by one, we streaked down the twisting metal slide on small black cars.
The rush we had felt on the slide was soon matched by the rush we received from bartering in the market. Some were able to get vendors to lower their prices by significant amounts, while others walked away from a snickering salesperson. After this substantial cultural exchange, we boarded the bus with our wares and headed to dinner, which was my favorite meal so far.
When we arrived back at the apartments around 8 p.m., we all returned to our rooms and collapsed on our couches.. It was a good day - to see one of the great wonders of the world and to spend time with all of the children we have grown so attached to here at the China Care Home.
Jack is also a student at Hotchkiss and he has been taking Mandarin classes for the last two years.