This was written by Emily Kam, an Agape Fish high school intern. View the original post.
We arrived in Lanzhou, lugging our suitcases that were mostly filled with craft supplies, candy, and beanie babies for the children. It was warm, but not humid.
We ate a lunch of Lanzhou’s famous beef noodle soup with the children, then brought everything from the TFish office out to the sidewalk, where we waited for the bus that would take us to camp.
Piling everyone in, we settled down for the 90 minute drive. Dad and Josiah snored so loud I worried that they were disturbing the other campers trying to sleep on the ride.
I tried practicing some Mandarin with Mom on the way to the camp, and succeeded in asking haltingly, “What is your name?” I would practice more later.
The campsite was beautiful, nestled at the foot of the Xinlong mountains. We were separated into three units that were situated next to each other. Each unit was fashioned in the style of an ancient Chinese home called a siheyuan, where a center courtyard is surrounded by three small living spaces. The kids and counselors assembled in one courtyard, and Yun Yun, the Little Red Scarf director, introduced everyone and played a get-to-know-you game. I sat next to a girl who looked like she could be about my age. I was a bit surprised to see how many gray hairs were streaked on her head. The most I had ever gotten were about two or three. Her eyes looked as if she had lived for forty years.
Afterwards, we ate dinner in the dining hall. I sat with the kids, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t talk to them. We ate family-style, our black chopsticks touching both our mouths and the food on the table. It was a bit on the greasy side and it was mostly vegetables, but it was fairly good and filling.
I hoped that we would be able to better connect with the kids tomorrow.
Read about the life-changing stories on the mission field.