On Wednesday I went to the China Care Home orphanage on the outskirts of Beijing. At GFA I am very involved in the China Care Club, which raises money for this orphanage, so it was really rewarding for me to finally see it after hearing about it for so long. The Home is a temporary orphanage where small children can stay while they await medical care in Beijing, which the Home also pays for. Unlike a typical orphanage, though, when the children have fully recovered from their procedures, they will return to their home orphanages. When I was there, there were about 30 kids staying at the Home, most between 0-6 years old. The China Care Home is actually inside a large residential home. The downstairs is largely administrative space, and the bedrooms on the second floor each house a few kids. I was pleased to find that the kids all seemed happy and really well cared for. There is a “妈妈” or caregiver for every 2-3 kids, and they get a lot of individual attention. I had a great time meeting and playing with the children, and it was inspiring to see how much care is given to helping these children with very serious illnesses. Though these medical conditions are very sad, it is amazing that these kids have a healthy future ahead of them thanks to the surgeries provided by the Home.
This Thursday marked exactly eight weeks since I arrived and eight weeks until I leave SYA, so I am now more than halfway done, which is hard to believe!
Yesterday, I visited the mansion of Prince Gong, who was in charge of China’s first foreign affairs office following the Second Opium War. It’s really cool to be able to learn about something in history class and then go see it on the weekend! We also get extra credit for going to certain places like this (Thanks Fu Laoshi!).
Today the pollution cleared so I considered going out to do something, but I have a lot of work to do, so instead I just went out to go to lunch and to go to the supermarket. Speaking of my homework, I have a midterm in Mandarin tomorrow, so I’ll get back to studying for that!