I finally landed in China after a long 13 hour flight. After waiting 30 minutes to get off the plane once we landed I followed the crowd to a check point labeled “Foreigners.” When I got up to the guy I had to show him my passport and visa inside it, as well as a yellow piece of paper that we had to fill out on the plane where it asks us why we were going to China. I got through, then went to get my luggage. One of my fears was that they would loose all my luggage but I got all of my luggage without any damage. Then I had to go through customs where a machine scanned my visa, and I was finally good to go after that. I walked out to the front of the airport (it was super muggy outside) and I immediately had people in my face asking if I needed a taxi. I got a taxi and gave my driver the address to the orphanage, my taxi driver didn’t speak much English. He got really confused, he said “You Chinese, but you don’t speak Chinese?” We ended up using google translate on our phones to communicate. Then I explained to him how I used to be an orphan, I got adopted, and now I was back to volunteer at an orphanage. He thought that was really cool.
After 30 minutes I arrived at the orphanage around 3:00 PM (this is where I will be staying for the next four months). I walked in the door with all my luggage and walked into a big room with babies and other worker/volunteers (who were all Chinese). I felt like everyone there had all stopped what they were doing and all stared at me like I was an alien. I was exhausted from the flight and just wanted to get to my room. I asked for Tori who I was told would be my roommate and spoke English. After a few minutes of people trying to talk to me in Chinese Tori shows up and took me to our room. Boy, was I glad that she could understand me! I put my luggage down, changed into some fresh clothes, and walked around the orphanage for a little. Not long after around 4:30 PM I went back to my room and passed out for the night.
I woke up the next morning around 7:30 AM and finally I met Chris. She is the assistant manager at the orphanage. I have been communicating with all summer about coming. I got breakfast, which consisted of porridge with mixed veggies, a variety of bread, and a hard boiled egg. There is always some type of veggie, and meat on the table, as well as chili sauce. They put chili sauce on everything! After breakfast Chris gave me my first job, she handed me a camera and told me to take pictures of the children throughout the day. Throughout the day I played with children, and helped feed them when it was time to eat. After the children went to bed around 7:00 PM, Chris showed me around and we went to a bakery. The most famous chef in Beijing works here and I got to met him. He invited me to come cook with him sometime, and I hope to take him up on that offer! He specializes in chocolate, but makes many things such as bread, pastries, cheese, and he does “sugar art.”
Chris has already become a great friend here, and she has been taking an hour out of her day to help teach me Chinese. Hopefully after a little while I can start to communicate with others here in Chinese!
China is definitely weird. So much of a cultural difference between China and America. It isn’t as sanitary here as I’d like it to be. I would even say America seems “obsessed” with being sanitary compared to here. When some of the ladies at the orphanage talk it sounds like their mad (but they aren’t). People here would be considered “rude” in America. If they bump into you or something they don’t say sorry like we would in America. If you leave your seat for any reason the saying “you snooze you loose” is really a thing here. When you eat at the table with others people will reach over you for food without asking you to pass it. People will also just eat straight out of the dishes with their chopsticks instead of dishing out food in their own bowl/plate.
P.S. – We get a break after the kids eat lunch around 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. They get a nap and everyone here goes out and gets lunch or relaxes. This is when I have the time to write my blog posts, skype, and work on my computer. So if anyone wants to chat or skype this is when to do it. (It’s about 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM CST).