Great Wall Trip

Picture dozens of Chinese children hiking across the Great Wall for the first time in their lives, along with dozens more wide-eyed volunteers. That was us today.

We have been paired up with the “buddies” we will host for the week, and have shown them all over the private school campus where camp is being held, in addition to this morning’s field trip.

Most of the children are outgoing and talkative; a few are more introverted. But they all get excited when we sing and play games. They all have chosen American names, to make it easy for us. My two are named Bill and, ironically, Tom. Bill plays the trumpet and a stringed Chinese instrument he brought with him to camp, and Tom loves to draw.

They are both quiet, but to see them smile means the world to me.

The same goes for all the volunteers here, who are hot and sweaty most of the time, but happy to have finally met the children they’ve been anticipating for months.

Below are a few pictures I took today at the Great Wall and here at camp. The photo at the top was taken inside one of the cable cars that carry tourists to the wall on a ridge about an hour away from Beijing.

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