by Hannah Li July 3, 2017
On Saturday my family and our friend Nancy’s family drove to Blue Hills, to meet our dad and a burnt patient and his father. The reason we are doing this is because the boy was burned severely when he was very young, so half of his face and scalp was burned very badly. Margaret and I joined an organization to help impaired patients from the Shriners’ Hospital that came from China for medical care, to have some fun while they are here in Massachusetts.
On that day, we brought lawn chairs, pails and shovels (because there was also a pond with a beach there that we could play on after hiking), and A LOT OF FOOD!! After picking up Nancy and her family, we drove to the parking lot where you can walk through the outdoor animal museum. We met Liu Shi Wei and his dad, and we said our greetings. Personally, I thought he would look worse, but he looked about the same as one of my classmates at school, who also unfortunately got burned in Ukraine at a fire too. We headed towards the outdoor museum, looking at the variety of animals, such as the cute otter (my favorite), ducks that we fed, a red fox, vultures, red-tailed hawks, snowy owls, deer, and even watched as the museum staff put a couple turtles into the turtle exhibit! Nancy told me that the otter was trying to get out, even after all the years he was captured. Liu Shi Wei knew a lot about animals, and he told me that when feeding ducks, you have to be careful not to let them eat off your hand or they might bite your fingers off. He was also very interested with the red fox, and kept on staring through the glass separating us, and the fox. After walking through a few more exhibits, we decided to start climbing. Before we did that, however, we had to all use the restroom, so we won’t have to go in the middle of hiking. The restroom was located inside the indoor museum, so after we did our business we looked through the indoor exhibits. There were live animals in cages there, such as the adorable white-footed mice that was scrunched up in the farthest corner away from the cage next to it, which was the milk snake. Poor mice, they probably think that if they got too close, the snake would eat them for lunch! There was also an owl (?) in a huge glass container, and on one side of the wall there was a fake Native American hut with a real animal skin dangling off a hook, and a really fascinating model of what a Native American tribe would look like during the hunting and harvesting season in a glass case inside the hut. My parents and Liu Shi Wei’s father took a ton of pictures, and after touring around the room thrice, we finally exited the building and began to climb.
Observing a peregrine falcon
Liu Shi Wei seemed very experienced with climbing mountains, and he bounded across the rocks and twigs as if they were nothing. He also told me that he stepped on dog poop, and my dad taught him how to to say “dog poop” in English. We took a few breaks, drinking water and eating Doritos and Ritz crackers that my mom and Nancy’s dad had brought. When we were about a fifth up the mountain, my mom suggested that we start heading back down the mountain, first, because she was afraid that we won’t have much time for the picnic and the playing in the park and beach, and second, because we were drenched in a pool of our own sweat. We agreed without complaint, and headed down the mountain.
When we were once again at the bottom, we went into our cars and drove to the beach area. It was time for a feast! Fried rice, ham and tomato sandwiches, tea eggs, tea meat, Doritos, Ritz crackers, oranges, chocolate and raspberry pastries, bottled water, and chocolate! We spread out our picnic blankets and stuffed our faces with the delicious food. Afterwards, everyone went to the playground area to play, except the moms who stayed behind and chatted and took naps. At the playground, we climbed the monkey bars and I was the first one to successfully pull me body up on the long pole to the platform about 7 feet off the ground. Margaret tried and did it, except with a different way to required you to hook your feet on the platform and pull yourself up by the force of pulling your arms upward, whereas my tactic was of sheer strength in my upper abdomen and arms. Liu Shi Wei tried too, and at the end, he succeeded with a tactic of his own-doing a slip on the two poles supporting the platform, and pulling himself up with his arms. Bravo Liu Shi Wei!!! Jessica, in the very, very end, climbed up the pole using my tactic, because Jessica also has the strength in her stomach and arms.
Hiking up the Trails
Later, we went to the beach and built sandcastles. Liu Shi Wei taught my dad how to make a really smooth and pretty one, and it succeeded. I got bored after a while and tortured a disgusting fat caterpillar by drowning it in a pail of water. It was horrific!!!! Nancy and I sunbathed on two flat rocks, and I got a nice view of a tree branch hanging across my vision, the background being a sunny clear sky with a glistening lake reflecting the few clouds in the sky. Then, Nancy and I, being daring and curious, found a very hidden and secret little path that goes behind the “DO NOT ENTER” fence that blocks you from seeing the beautiful grass growing in the shallow water. However, Nancy warned me that the lifeguard could see us, and we took off back to the sandcastle group. I collected tiny colorful pebbles for decoration on top of the castles, but soon reached boredom again and went back to the playground with Jessica. We played The Floor Is Lava, and sat on top of the monkey bars. I also got curious and tried to sit in one of the baby swings. Jessica went in one first, and she stated that it was very uncomfortable. I thought she was just embarrassed, so I shoved myself in another one next to her so she wouldn’t feel like the only big kid in a baby swing. Mistake #1. Mistake #2 was when I finally realized it was very tight for her, so I tried to get out of the swing to help her, but found out that I was hopelessly stuck in a baby swing! Jessica was stuck too but managed to climb out. After many tries of lifting my butt off the swing, I finally was able to wiggle loose from the swing and jump onto the ground. Afterwards Jessica and I collected pieces of sea glass and other interesting materials, like a paperclip, wine bottle caps, a bright orange rock, and a dead caterpillar. Then, we went back to see the 15 new sandcastles being built. My dad and Liu Shi Weit were attempting to construct an underwater canal-moat thing for the sandcastles, but the waves of water soon made the walls collapse, so they went back to packing wet sand and dumping the pails upside-down to make sandcastles, sandcastles, sandcastles.
Monkey Bars at the Playground
Finally, my mom told us that it was time to go. I explained to Liu Shi Wei that this whole area was called a park, with the beach being an exception. “Park”, I told him. “Park.” He repeated the words, and his father also stated the word over and over again. “Park”. Everybody packed up all the picnic materials while I went to the restroom. When I came out, I helped lug the trash bag containing the pails and shovels, and together we headed towards the parking lot. We took one last picture altogether in the parking lot, which is a very strange place to take a final photo if you ask me, and said our good-byes. We wished him good luck for his surgery coming up in a couple weeks, and departed to our separate cars.
On the ride home, I felt a strange feeling that was hard to shake-off. Sorrow, maybe? Hope, maybe? Whatever it was, I definitely had the best time at Blue Hills with Liu Shi Wei.