Today we had our same wake up, oatmeal and hike to the orphanage. We started right into finishing the mural, the men worked quickly to finish up the insulation, sinks, and second water tank in the dining hall. We had a goal to finish by 2:00 so we could work with the kids for a few hours in the afternoon cleaning up the grounds. They have a severe problem with all of the trash that is generated here. There is no centralized garbage collection, so there is a lot of trash everywhere. It is so sad. This is such a beautiful valley but no way for them to solve this problem for themselves.
The cooks made us a gourmet Tibetan lunch with carrots and yak, peppers and yak, spicy cucumbers, and rice. Double Yum! We sat in a huge circle in a meadow by the stream (where the children had already cleaned). Each of the 10 of us spaced ourselves out somewhere in the circle to sit amongst the children. I felt like a mute. It is so hard to sit with these beautiful creatures who are starving for your attention and not be able to speak to them. So what does one do in a situation when sur-rounded by a dozen little girls who you can’t talk to? Play patty cake. You know not the one you do with little babies, but the kind where you sing songs or chant and clap at lightning speed. They totally knew how to do it. Well of course they did. They are girls! What fun.
After lunch the clean up began. Our crew began putting away our work materials also and cleaned up our work area. The children shared plastic bags and collected all of the trash, moved and stored all of the old windows, swept and mopped the dining hall floor. The place was really looking great. We told the children that if they helped clean they would get some rewards. Ali and I ordered a ton of little toys from Oriental Trading Company to give to the children. I know, I know. You are thinking isn’t that a bit stupid to buy toys from China, have them sent to America, to bring back to China? Well they were the cheapest toys and easiest to order so leave me alone! We had the girls line up in one line and the boys in another. Then we passed out 2 toys to each child. They loved them. Boys were flying planes all over the yard and the girls were trading their bracelets and small animals. Next we tossed out 10 new soccer balls and 10 new basketballs brought by Scott.
The kids went nuts. There were balls everywhere. The kids were having a blast but didn’t have a clue how to play a game with them. Steve of course had to put on his coaches hat and in his best Tibetan, oh I mean English, taught a group of young boys how to pass, catch and the triple threat. It was a hoot to watch.
Our final work of the day was each worker had to paint something on the mural. Everyone was stumped and challenged by the assignment. We had yaks, mountain climbers, butterflies, dragon flies and even a hot air balloon (we decided to stump the poor little Tibetan children with figuring out that one!). It all tied the mural together so beautifully. We trekked back to dinner with the English teacher in tow. We wanted him to join in on our American meal and conversation. Dinner was a simple pasta dish with a red sauce with roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese and onions! I was in heaven.
Now I am tucked away in my little bed. Ali is already snoring and Steve is in the bed next to me emailing all of his friends. Good night all. Tomorrow is our last day here in the valley. Sunday we start our 3 day drive back to Cheng Du.