This day marked our last full day in Hong Kong. This also marked our last day as tourists before we become full pledged volunteers in Jieyang.
As a group, the Penn engineering team traveled to the Big Buddha site in Hong Kong via gondolas. The view was incredible. We traveled at about 20 mph hundreds of feet above the ground of Hong Kong, and it felt as if we could see every landscape around us. From the fogged mountains to the clear flowing creeks, the journey to the site was truly breathtaking.
The site itself exhibited a similarly remarkable level of aesthetic beauty. In addition, a sense of spiritualism is felt among the grounds of an enormous Buddha statue. To get near the statue we had to climb a multitude of steps until we were literally inches away from the statue of the holy figure. And the peace, serenity, and spiritual feelings culminate. We then hiked on the “wisdom path” with hills lavished in vegetation.
After all of this traveling, we stopped by a nearby mall to eat lunch then we returned to the hotel to rest. At night, we gathered to witness Hong Kong’s light show where buildings beamed rays of colorful light in tune to the melody of the background music.
Once the show was over, many of us experienced our first Korean barbecue, a family style dining comprised of a selection of delicious self-cooked meats and dishes ranging from ox tongue to spicy pork and crawfish. All of these events helped us to not only embrace the culture but also unify us a group embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime service trip to mainland China. This helped us mentally prepare to work together in the following days in a collaborative effort to use our technical skills and genial rapport to care for those in need.