Day 2 in Rongshui, Neil Taylor Christian Care Center

Have you ever lit a fire on the floor inside a house? We had four fires burning at the same time today. The orphanage had planned a barbecue as one of the Sunday activities. Unfortunately it was a cold, rainy and quite windy day. So the barbecue was relocated inside one of the older buildings on the property. That building will be renovated this year. It’s a brick and concrete structure so it was a perfect alternative for fires to roast hot dogs, chicken, chives, potatoes and zucchini. After planting some fruit trees we went back to the hotel for an hour to warm up before returning for the evening activities.

I know Calgary just got a dump of snow, around 30cm, and you may have little sympathy with me when I say that cold here in China meant that is got down to 13C today. Yet none of the buildings at orphanage have the “luxury” of a heating (or cooling) system and I’m not counting the kitchen, they still use wood fired appliances. So the inside temperature is very close to the outside temperature. There’s no going to the thermostat and turning up the furnace or flicking on the gas fireplace or going back to the hotel to warm up. These children only have one option, put on some more clothes. David, the director, told us that they had snow three times this winter. No, they didn’t get enough snow that they had to shovel the driveway; they did however get extra blankets to keep warm. The things we take for granted …

We helped make dumpling and dumplings and dumplings when we came back to the orphanage. A constant flow of children helped as well. They all have assigned chores and are expected to help with all activities. We are constantly surprised by their helpfulness, cheerfulness and sense of integrity. When it comes to candy, balloons or games, they all treat each other with the same set of rules and ensure that everyone gets the same.

In the evening they put on a show for us and we finished the evening off with sparklers and fireworks.

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