“The more things change, the more they stay the same” is an oft repeated quote originating from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. It’s a perfect phrase for life in Beijing, as the one thing we can count on is nothing being permanent — change is constant. So it serves as little surprise that our beloved Roundabout has moved once again, this time with a more promising future which we can all hope will not change.
The area connected to the hutong outside of ISB is coming down piece by piece. Tasty’s is torn down, and the Roundabout ceiling and walls were being demolished while they were still in the building! But things aren’t as pessimistic as they have been in the past, and Roundabout appears to be surviving and thriving.
Landlord Mr. Xu is a local business man who had been renting out the former Roundabout space during the past year. While he originally thought the store was simply a hobby retail space, he soon learned that it was a charity store providing tireless products and service to those in need. He was so touched by the work that he wanted to continue trying to help – resulting in building a new building that Roundabout believes will be more of a permanent home. Certainly larger, this building will house a retail section, a donations area, and room for other charities to showcase their goods. It will also have a section for student groups to donate their time and service, where they can watch a movie about what Roundabout does to fully understand how their involvement makes a positive difference. Currently without running water, in about two weeks the facility will have a toilet, there will be a huge parking area at the back of the building, and there will be ample space to have special events throughout the year.
With final touches taking place this week, the opening date is Saturday, June 9 from 9:30am-5:30pm.
The new building location is directly behind Yosemite (the side towards Dragon Bay). Directions: Drive past ISB on An Hua Road going north, past the intersection where BSB is on the right. Take the next left (back gate of Yosemite), and it is just down the road on the right past the blue and white migrant worker buildings.
For groups looking to help in a bigger way, Leslie could use your assistance right now!! A large amount of electronics need to be tested before they can be sent out or sold, and there is a need for hanging paintings and other artwork without damaging the walls.Perhaps a church group or student group could consider donating some hours for these efforts – call Leslie at 137 1877 7761 if you’d like to help.
Friends of Roundabout will have an opening party at this new location in the fall, shortly after families return from the summer holiday. By this time, the space will be completely operational. The party will be open to the public and details will emerge as the time nears.