Monday, July 19, 2010

Where in the Brianna?

For three days, the students of Brianna's group worked with the children at Jatson Chumig School and Orphanage. The orphanage was established in 1993 and is  home to over 150 orphaned girls and boys.  Here's what Scott von Eschen, president of ARCC had to say while there on a scouting trip:

"Some orphanages are depressing…Jatson is just the opposite. There is so much life and energy here and the kids are so cute. It was so inspiring walking from classroom to classroom, meeting the kids, watching them working so hard at their lessons. You’d never know that they had suffered through some of the worst things anyone, let alone children, can go through."

Brianna seemed to really enjoy her time there.  She said that the children were all very cute, and she was surprised by how smart they were, and how quickly they learned.  On their last day the children all sang a song for them :)  Resilient is really the only word I can think of.  Children, who have gone through more than they should have and more than any one of us can imagine, and yet they smile, they sing, and they work hard.

After completing their time at Jatson, the group took a three hour drive up to the holy Namtso Lake where they were able to catch the stunning sunset over the mountains.  Also referred to as "Heavenly Lake", it is the highest salt water lake in the world. Unfortunately, this meant that they were at an altitude about 3,000 feet higher than in Lhasa, an unfortunately this seemed to have a negative effect on Brianna :(  She had a headache and was nauseous, apparently suffering from some mild altitude sickness.  Still, she tried to enjoy her time at what is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet....a lake of crystal clear blue water, which to Tibetans symbolizes godliness, and happiness and is thought to cleanse the souls of all who visit it.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Tibet, and head to their next adventure.....the Giant Pandas!  They arrived in Chengdu, and had a spicy dinner,...a local favorite, "Hot Pot".  After dinner they all got a much needed Western treat....McFlurries!  I'm sure they enjoyed those!

As I write, it it late evening in China, and Brianna has finished her day working at the Panda Breeding Center.  I have yet to get any details of her day, but can't wait to her about!  Keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get a phone call....really soon.  It's been six days since I've heard her live voice!  It's killing me.....even though I'm pretending (mostly to myself) that it's not, it is!


Brian McClatchy said...

Hello Melissa - my name is Brian McClatchy and I volunteer at Jatson Chumig. I am here now and just read your posting (blog) of Brianna's visit with Adventure's Cross-Country.
So happy she enjoyed herself !!! The Jatson children truly are special and have captured my hearts for over four years now.

Brian said...

So happy Brianna got to visit Jatson Chumig School & Orphanage in Lhasa, Tibet / PRC.

It is where I am right now and we just finished the kindergarten & Physical Therapy Rooms.

Awesome that she had a wonderful experience!