A father and son volunteer vacation in China

This spring, David Cohen took his 11 year old son Andrew to Beijing, China for 10 days. Inspired by Mark Solon, and organized through Globe Aware, David and Andrew worked in a school for the children of migrant workers who have no government services. David’s goal was for his son to experience more of the world and to learn how many others are not as fortunate as they are. “Mission accomplished,” relates David.

Globe Aware is pleased to share their daily observations, impressions and experiences while on their volunteer vacation in China:

Day 4

What a great wall, huh?

What a great wall, huh?

another rocky start to day 3. andrew was up at 2am for an hour, he says. then we were both up at 4. i thought that was it for the night. both of us laid awake restless until 5 and then we both slept until about 630. we started the morning slowly, showers, breakfast in the room (granola etc). marcus came to get us at 930.

off to the Great Wall, we were told it would take around an hour. this would turn out to be a very long day of busses, trains, and gondolas. we took a bus to another bus to the subway where we took a train, then walked 1/2 mile, then another bus. this took about 2 hours. and, just like that we were at the Great Wall. it was very cold there but luckily i had guessed that and we dressed well. we took the trolly (like a reverse slow roller coaster) up to the wall. we walked up and along the wall taking a million photos until we got the skyride. then we rode it down. we were on the wall for 90 minutes or so and had lunch up there from our coffee stop. then a bus ride from hell, over 2 hours in gridlock on a sunday afternoon. every one of these busses and trains and the wall itself were of course completely packed, so the long bus ride back was really tough. andrew had his kindle and read for half of it, and got tired of it. super long ride. then a train, then a bus back to the hotel. in the train station we got Pizza Hut to bring back to our room. yay. andrew was pretty happy about that.


It was cooooold!

that took the entire day.

andrew was in good spirits until the end, when he was just really tired and justifiably sick of busses. for sure he’s getting the idea here that overcrowding is the norm and public transportation is how the people here live.

Personal space is not a familiar concept on public transit in Beijing.

Personal space is not a familiar concept on public transit in Beijing.

i think andrew liked the wall itself, and the trains, but not the busses. he’s out now, just after 8pm. our wake up call is at 6am for our first day at the school, a full 12 hours planned helping with english, geography, etc. we’ll be taking the gifts for the school.


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