“I can’t even begin to choose a favorite time or memory in China. I have seen sights that everybody worldwide should see; The Great Wall; Mount Tai; The Gobi Desert are a few of those.
Our final performance and collaborative dance with the Mongolian students was one of the greatest nights of my life.
There are many similar memories, which I will never forget. But, when I returned home and woke up the next afternoon, I could only think of how fortunate I am. I did see a few things that will never leave my memory;
Being continuously approached by an outstretched, empty hand belonging to the cutest, most sympathetic old beggar. He would simply come up to you in tattered clothes, mutter a plea for charity in an almost silent voice, and look up at you with the deepest, most picturesque, dependent eyes, before hanging his head, overwhelmed with feelings of inferiority;
I remember seeing one man whose legs were deformed, sitting on a homemade cart singing beautiful Mongolian songs. Seeing a person that unfortunate with only a hat with the equivalent of a few dollars to spend in it breaks your heart;
When we went to the Lamasery I remember watching a monk in prayer for some time before being approached by a mother and her son, who was wearing a face mask. Hand in hand, the two neared the monk. The child looked so sick. The mother made her son kneel in front of the monk before she removed his mask and had him pray. The monk put his hand on the boy’s head, said some words, and then had him rise. The mother went through the same process and finished her visit by replacing her son’s mask and handing the monk a hand full of coin money. I simply watched all of this take place from a distance without blinking an eye. Their belief was so intense I almost broke into tears. These images will never leave me
Am I glad I saw these things? Of course, I wish they didn’t exist but I am eternally grateful to have the lifestyle I have and also to those people I saw for teaching me the true meaning of pain so that I could appreciate and experience joy.”