I love trying new things. And so far, interning for Show Hope in China has been full of “new” for me. Whether it’s working out in a Chinese gym, which is quite an experience, or just eating lunch “on the side of the road”… I find it all exciting. This week, I got to share one of these new experiences with some of the preschoolers from Maria’s Big House of Hope. We took Judah, Jessica, Jaelynn, Arrayah, Hope, and Fahlin to the zoo for their very first time. This was a special new experience for them, and I really don’t know if I have ever seen kids as excited as they were.
The zoo here in Luoyang is a little bit more “wild” than what I have grown to expect from a zoo in the States. In fact, feeding the animals is actually encouraged! The kids had a great time and loved seeing the animals that they had been learning about in class. They laughed and giggled in amazement. It was their first time ever seeing anything like this before. After we made our way around the zoo to see each animal and fed the crazy pigeons (which was more like being attacked), we loaded up the car and headed out to conquer another first for the kids: McDonald’s.
The closest thing they had ever heard to McDonald’s, was the children’s song “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” When we asked them where they were, they would excitedly say, “Old McDonald’s! Old McDonald’s!” From the chicken nuggets to french fries to their first time trying ice cream, they loved it. Every bit of it. Not a tear fell all day…we just had some very happy kids. The kids were so happy and tired at the end of this big day of firsts!
I won’t forget how excited they were to do the things so many of us take for granted. It may not be the zoo or McDonald’s for us; it may be other little things that we do all the time, but for me it was a good reminder to take in each moment and be thankful for it. Oh, and to laugh too. These kids love to laugh, and it’s extremely contagious. While I miss my family and friends like crazy, I know this is where my maker has me and I am loving it.