谢谢(xie,xie), ¡Gracias!, Thanks!

Once we came down from the 3.000 m high we went together for lunch and directly after that to our next destination.

Han Family welcomed us in their nice living room with a traditional tea.

This family was a bit different than the ones we saw before. The parents work outside the city and the grandfather was the one taking care of the little boy and ensure his education.

We had a great talk with both of them and when we asked the little one what was the thing he most like from school he shyly said “to play”. Of course this did not impress us at all and we replied to him with big laughs. The grandfather was very open and decided to play for us some traditional songs with a strange instrument similar to a guitar.

Lets sing! - By Carolina Garcia

Then we went to visit one last school. It was bigger than the ones we saw before. There were many children running around and playing. They were older and not so shy and were trying to get closer to us saying “Hello!, Hello!”. They looked very happy and wanted to take pictures with us and after look at them on our cameras. This they enjoyed a lot!

Hello!, Hello! by Jose Antonio Ojeda
Hello!, Hello! by Jose Antonio Ojeda

We had the last meeting together with the local government authorities and UNICEF in one of the rooms of the school. It was a formal meeting to end the visit but at the same time one of the best moments of the day. We sat down all around a big table. Lata Menon UNICEF responsible for education and development in China, started the meeting with a big Thank You to the authorities for the great welcoming, their time and the resources they dedicated to IKEA España and UNICEF during these days. Then she invited us to share our ideas and inputs regarding the project.

We underlined the big commitment we saw for the project and how we could see this commitment also in the community, the families and the children. We also evaluated positively the good relationship between UNICEF and the local government as we thought it would have been very difficult to succeed without that good relationship.

A Chinese to English translator tried to communicate to the people responsible for the ECD Program (early childhood development) about our feelings and the emotions we lived through during the two days, and the other way around. It was our time to thank UNICEF and also the local authorities for the big opportunity we had to learn a little bit more about the project.

The word Thanks was said in every language many times and it was then that we realised that we were part of something really important. We are the first step in a big project that is alive and that works to improve the everyday life of many children in the world. We have already built a lot, but we cannot forget that there is a long way in front of us.

After the meeting, we could visit the small city a little bit. Chuanzhusi is a small tourist town. We walked through the main street, full of souvenir shops and food. Then we arrived at the Tibetan temple. It was an impressive and colourful building with golden roofs. It was closed but we could see a group of old women walking around the temple praying while they turn the wheels of the Buddhist mantra.

The Temple by Aleida Martinez

Our visit to Songpan was ending. While we were driving through the mountains on our way to the airport, we were filled with melancholic feelings. We were thinking about these two incredible days… How the hosts took care of us, the professionalism and big work of UNICEF, the faces of all those children we got to know…. So many memories and special moments that will remain in our hearts forever.