The last times walking up and down the hills were truly bittersweet. While this trip feels like it has flown by, I also feel like I have been here much longer than 2 weeks. It's a little tough to comprehend it's over and I've actually completed this volunteer project I've been dreaming about for so long.
The last cleaning went incredibly quick. I think Tasha and I reached expert level quickness because Jin Ke definitely gave us a mess to clean up. And of course he just chilled with his panda bread.
The rest of the day went rather quick. From hanging around the kindergarten to playing cards in the volunteer center. One interesting thing I learned was 2 of the pandas in the kindergarten are Jin Kes. I made a prediction at the beginning they were because of how they lean back when they eat. #justliketheirdad
I don't really think it hit me at the last feedings that I probably would never see Jin Ke in person again. I really will miss being that close to pandas but especially Jin Ke. We turned in our uniforms and badges to receive our certificate and pins. Now the big challenge is getting this home without ripping to creasing it.
I got to video the panda dog with an underbite. I wish I could have brought him home with me too.
After dinner we all decided to play mahjong and hit Tom's Bar one last time. Chelsea and Sarah were at Tom's the night before and Tom recorded them singing PPAP. He put it on the TV in the bar and it immediately became the theme song for this trip. Dumb AF and hilarious. We also recorded our own version that I will desperately be trying to find when I get home. Tom said he would post it on the Panda Bar's FB page so we will see...
The crowd shrunk down to just a few of us and we finally decided to call it a night. I mean, I did have to be up at 4AM. We ended the night with a pinky promise to have a reunion trip in Amsterdam. Chelsea, Sarah, and Tasha, I will hold you to it!
This experience has definitely pushed and pulled me in all different ways. I've learned a lot about not only myself but my capabilities. It was also really incredible meeting so many different people from all over. ❤️ you guys, truly. I only hope to go on another journey soon.
I decided to wait to write this until Saturday because I wanted to absorb as much as I could on my last day. I decided to stay for a few extra days in Shanghai (because of the connection) to see the city and I am currently at the Westin Bund. #wheninchina
I got up at 4AM and Chris and I shared a taxi to the airport. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive (with a connection in Ya'an City) to the airport from the base. I patiently waited at the airport and came across this poorly translated sign in the bathroom. I believe that should be handicapped.
I finally arrived at PVG and got a taxi to the Westin Bund. My room was upgraded but I didn't understand why... I'll take it though. I was absolutely starving and DID NOT want rice or really anything Chinese. I ordered room service and got pasta and nachos... sounds gross, probably was, but I was starving so it was good. I had a nice soak in the tub, wrapped up in a robe, and I am just relaxing in bed. The quiet is so refreshing and I desperately missed my alone time.
The plan is to explore Shanghai tomorrow. Rain is in the forecast but hopefully it won't be gloomy all day. Fact is I'm pretty used to walking in the rain at this point so really it's just another day in the neighborhood.
Till tomorrow. 🐼❤️