The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Today was an emotional roller coaster. We started off the day with rain as we headed off to rehearse for the big show tonight. In the beginning of the day I, along with everyone else, felt fine while we sang and danced and had a good time with our new friends. As I write this, I am thinking about how the days become harder and longer and it sometimes gets easier to miss Vermont and my nice comfy bed. While the hours ticked by, the uglier the day got. Rehearsing for our own show had become extremely frustrating and I really felt like hitting my head against the stage. Just thinking about how chaotic everything seemed made me aggravated. The dress rehearsal ran over so we only had twenty minutes to scarf down our dinners. When we got back to the performance hall it got hectic again. Everyone tried to do last minute things, like smudging eyeliner on uncooperative boys or tuning ukuleles while anxious Chinese students were everywhere. Once we heard “places” it was time to go out with a bang. I was giving it my all. By the end of our show we all felt pretty good. Nobody on stage laughed at the wrong time and everyone brought energy to the performance.
By the time we reached our collaborative performances we were just having fun with it. The collaborative performances included us singing a Chinese song and “Here Comes the Sun” with a class. Jake and Fairen participated in a musical performance with a Mongolian band. Then all of us did an Andai Dance in Mongolian costumes with scarves. All the collaborative performances were really exciting and I was more caught up in the moment of performing and having fun than focusing on messing up and feeling upset. Overall I had felt like I was on cloud nine when everything was finished.
The day went from good, to bad, to ugly, to “I really don’t want to leave.” I was super surprised how fast everyone’s mood changed from sixteen kids wanting to go back to the hotel and give up, to not wanting to go to bed. After the entire show none of the Mongolians wanted to leave us and we didn’t want to leave them either. Even though we only spent in total about four hours with them and none of them spoke English at all, everyone had made such wonderful connections with them, especially me. All the students from our group each got a partner to help us dance, my partner just happened to be super goofy and extremely sweet, it was really hard to saying goodbye to her, but I know we will keep in touch and hopefully reunite in October.
On the bus ride back to the hotel our whole group was in such a blissful mood, while being loud and annoying the teachers. In that moment I was incredibly thankful to be there. In that moment I realized how this trip is truly a once and a lifetime experience. Knowing that we only have two more days in Inner Mongolia makes me want to cry. I never imagined myself to ever be in a family like Journey East and being out of my comfort zone so much. I see myself changing in a positive way everyday and knowing I won’t be in China, in less than a week, really hits my heart hard.