Leaving Rongshui and back to Guilin

This morning we went to the orphanage in Rongshui for a short visit and to say goodbye to the staff and children. It’s a special holiday long weekend in China and some of the children had left to visit relatives, but many remained at the orphanage.

After handing out gifts to the staff we said our goodbyes to both the staff and children. Most asked us to write phrases in their notebooks and we received countless hugs. They accompanied us along the path from the orphanage to where we catch our rickshaw. After many more hugs and goodbyes we finally did get in and drive off. It’s tough to leave. 🙁

Gobi, the director of the Christian youth center, who we met on the first evening in Rongshui offered to drive us to Guilin. We packed ourselves into his minivan and drove the 4 hour journey to Guilin. He then had to drive back to Rongshui, pick up his own belongings and drive to his relatives for their long weekend get together. We are continually amazed by the generosity of people, some who we have only met for a couple of hours. These people go, quite literally, out of their way to help us. Christian love in action.

We went for an early dinner because we were meeting with Alvin, the past coordinator of the foster children around Guilin. He brought with him 6 kids from his neighbourhood. We exchanged gifts and talked for a while. They were primarily interested in where we were from, why we were here, what we liked and didn’t like. What struck me was how well these kids spoke English. Paul, age 12, talked about school, Guilin and we even had a discussion about basketball – his favorite team is the LA Lakers. These kids have better condition and together with their education and language assistance are further ahead than many kids at the orphanages. It does explain, in a very obvious way, why the orphanages are always looking for volunteers to help the children with English (Chinese comprehension optional 🙂 )

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