During the expedition we will live to see a lot of adventures. Interested in how we live through this expedition and how we managed to succeed in our plans. Here you can read our daily adventures! Enjoy!
The last village
Yes, the official finish was in Beijing. But the expedition isn¡¯t over as we need to ship the car back to the Netherlands and have a last visit planned to a SOS village. Tianjin is our destination. There the first SOS village of China is built. We invited the press as well and will be met by the village director at the highway exit. Tianjin is apparently well known for getting lost and not as easy to navigate as Beijing. As we have to drive this final leg, we meet Jason early in the morning. All evening we have been busy with the car. What to leave in the car and what to leave out. We are impressed by what we have collected the last couple of months. This also counts for the dust!
Although very foggy, the highway is open and Hippie is feeling great. We¡¯ve never driven this fast and it feels like hippie is in need of a vacation as well. Ourselves can use a bit of rest as well as we are very much tired. At the highway exit we meet the SOS Village Director and the reporters of China Daily, the biggest english newspaper in China. More press is invited such as Tianjin television and The Tianjin newspaper. They all want to do stories about SOS and our journey.
We arrive in the village just after eleven. It¡¯s quiet as all children are at school. During lunch some of the children come home for lunch and then we can meet them we are told. We walk around the village which funny enough has a western feeling to it. The two storey houses are cute and built around a little square with a statue of a mother holding two children. Yes, it¡¯s the mothers that deserve great respect we think as they all raise around ten children. During lunch we meet two mothers. The children are delighted to see us. One boy is quiet. We learn that he just arrived a few days ago and still needs to adopt a little. He is happy to have found a new home, after both his parents died in an accident and his grandparents who looked after him passed away, the mother tells us. We decide to keep the visit short as the boy can need his space and time.
Then it¡¯s time to meet the press. We sit down and with lots of camera¡¯s pointed at us we tell our storey. The press loves to hear the stories about western China as they have never been there before. They even have to laugh as we tell the roads have been bad and saw many stranded vehicles in a snowstorm. For more then an hour we answer questions and show pictures of the journey. Maybe we should give company presentations in the Netherlands!! Anyone interested??
We have lunch with all the crew and toast to the succes of SOS and our expedition. We are offerd to stay the night in the village. We walk around and meet some more children and film a bit. We have dinner with the village director and his wife and enjoy a meal in the village. Gosh it¡¯s nearly over....
In the evening we wash the car and clean it inside as well. We pack everything as good as possible and store it for the transport back home. By now we are very tired but it isn¡¯t one in the morning before we crawl into bed.
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