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Today was filled with activities including bike riding, dancing, and Mafia. We started by going to the grocery store and buying food and drinks for the upcoming train ride to Beijing. Our shopping list including meat flavored chips, sprayable bottled water, and red bean paste filled marshmallows.

After returning back to the hotel, we headed to the wall that surrounds Xi’an. The wall is 40 ft high and has a base width of 50-60 ft and has described as “a wall that has withstood war and famine and the rise and fall of dynasties”.  As a group we rode our bikes on the wall to see Xi’an from a different angle.  At about 12:15, we ended our trip and headed to lunch.  We ate bowls of noodles with tofu, pork, and other assorted vegetables at a local restaurant. We finished quickly and headed to a local primary school to meet some students.

When we entered the school, all of the students stared as us and yelled to their friends that the Americans were here. We went to a music class where we sang do re mi and twinkle twinkle with the kids. Next we headed to watch the cheerleaders preform a song for us. Although I have no idea what the song was about, I know that their performance had to do with airplanes. A wondrous applause followed their act and Lanea and Taylor took the stage and taught the students a step routine. While not perfect, they did get the hang of it and were successful in performing a challenging step.

Another few students performed there own dance routines which was followed by a dance party and many pictures taken. When it was time for the kids to leave, we stayed in the cool air conditioning and played multiple games of Mafia. The usual yelling and accusations were made which always makes for a fun game.

Finally, we left to go to the train station and the train that would take us to Beijing. At the station we were able to stay in the first class lounge where we expected to have an easy walk to the train. While not as bad as expected, it was very challenging to get our big bags past the other people because they were very aggressive. On the train, our rooms were pretty small with two bunk beds. Through trading beds, everyone was able to be in a room with their friends. All in all a very active and exciting day.

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