Location: Endocrinology and Metabolism Ward of Integrative Medicine Hospital
It was time for the patients to have free activities every afternoon. We put on our volunteer uniforms and went to find some seniors to chat with. There was only one who was alone and we knocked on the door and came in.
The grandma was about 65. She kept her distance when we first came in. She began to talk freely with us once we told her our purpose for coming. She told us she was born in Nanjing and had never left Nanjing her whole life. She had worked in a factory near the hospital until she retired. She had to leave the hospital as soon as possible because the medical bill was too expensive. It was still a heavy burden on her even though 75% of the medical expenses would be reimbursed. We felt a bit worried about what she said. She continued to refer to some social problems such as a high house price and education fee.
We saw an old man talking with his son in the corridor, and we went to them. The old man told us he accompanied his wife to see doctor. He once was a worker in a factory and he had joined the Liberation War and Korean War, where his hand was broken in a battle. While talking, the grandpa referred to our plans after graduation and advised us to gain more practice in society before graduation so that we could be ready for work.
Bai Yufeng and Zang Xiaoning were chatting with a grandpa in another ward. The grandpa had studied reconnaissance when he was young. Therefore he had special attention on politics and military. He supplemented some history about what happened after finding new China, which was not written in teaching books. The volunteers listened carefully and we all praised the grandpa for his vivid history.
The following describes what Bai Yufeng felt after talking with the grandpa:
“Wind blows, leaves fall, and thoughts wander. I struggle to sober up. The former military man and the bleeding history wander in my mind, which is like a lost soul and wakes me up again. I don’t know and it’s hard to know when the blood appeared. Who could understand the rain?
One visit, memory of a military man. Several volunteers, some affection;
Fires on, heroes love each other.
Peace in, people were sad for broken families
Ten years of turmoil;
Tides surge and waves roll
At that time
Winds turn over, clouds move and rivers roar
Waves change the universe.”
Original article by Yin-Wei, translated by Shishi Ma, and edited by US interns Isabel Auyeung and Ally Nguyen.
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