DAY 5 | January 16
Today started with a 6am wake up call as we dressed in many layers to face the Great Wall of China. The two hour bus ride went by quickly as we were given McDonalds breakfast and a history lesson by Kevin.
As we started climbing, we all walked at different paces. I was leading the pack at a quick pace as I was not sure if we had been given enough time to reach the top. Shane and I got to the store and bathroom that is halfway up the trek and were caught up by Brent. We eventually reached the top and climbed to the second floor of the tower to get the perfect picture of The Great Wall of China.
On the climb up and down, I met a couple of people, one family from Maryland, a couple from Norway, and a couple that was in China to adopt their second child!
At the top, we each did something memorable to get a great photo. From drinking a beer to swing dancing to trespassing to climbing the edge. (Half those things done by me… Which ones do you think?) Overall, the Great Wall was breathtaking… literally.
On our bus ride home, we stopped at the Beijing Olympic Park. I really enjoyed this visit because I remember watching the 2008 Olympics and telling myself that one day I would see the Nest Stadium with my own eyes. We were also lucky enough to see a hockey tournament taking place.
We have had a very long and tiring morning so most of us were asleep on the bus ride home. As we got off the bus, I noticed a big group of people playing on the soccer field so I approached, observed, and asked if I could join. They looked at me dressed in the big jacket and boots I wore for the freezing hike up the wall and were like, “umm suree…” So I signaled to them that I would be back and went to change real quick! As I ran through our floor hallway, I could tell people were trying to take a quick nap before our next activity. I rushed back to the field and I could see their faces change as they saw me come back dressed to play! I joined them for 30 minutes and showed them my Colombian skills which they were impressed about.
I then made it back to the room where we had our tea ceremony. We tried 7 different teas, each with their own unique flavor. The whole time I couldn’t help but think of which flavors Agu would like.
Then we walked to a famous chain restaurant and ate China’s “Hotpot”. You cook your own food by placing different meats and vegetables into ingredient filled boiling broth. Delicious food and excellent service! In the bathroom, I wasn’t allowed to open my faucet, there was a helper for that!
Then we walked back to campus to our calligraphy class taught by Kevin and his father accompanied by a McFlurry dessert. What an eye opening first hand experience to learn about Chinese characters. Can you guess what I wrote?!
Today was filled with unforgettable experiences that I will forever be grateful for. I enjoy every moment and am looking forward to every second left of this trip. Today, Chris asked me, “Don’t you get tired?” I responded, “There is no time to be tired.”