Longwan Caring Home is located in Dahua County, which was listed as one of the poorest counties in Guangxi Province. Longwan Caring Home is a big family consisting of orphans, single parents, and abandoned children. The normal expense of the Home is sustained by plantation, breeding, and small business.
Let’s first talk about the children. I teach preschool. At first, I felt slightly frustrated because, whether I coo or punish, the kids would not sit quietly. They climb on stools and desks, run around inside and outside of the classroom, and create a huge disturbance. After spending more days with them, however, I got used to this behavior. The children are very creative: making beautiful works out of paint, clay, and paper. Some boys have no hesitation swinging their fists at other children, and when I turn my head to check on them a few minutes later, they are already on top of the basketball net. When I look at their drawings, however, I see cute animals and bright colors. Discoveries like these always surprise me and make me stare in awe. I silently pray that, in their growing up, they will never lose this ability to express their true feelings because if they do, the grown-up world will be extremely boring.
There are also many older children (4th to 6th grade) in the Home who are so considerate and obedient that they make our hearts ache. Many of them are orphans or have single parents. I don’t know if I can understand even a fraction of what they have been through. All I can do is try to suppress the hurtful pity in my eyes when I look at them. All I want is to get along well with them. They are very skilled, able to do all kinds of chores, take care of their little sisters and brothers, dance, play music, sign language, and play many different sports. They gave me my first lesson in ballroom dancing.
Speaking of the Home’s workers and teachers, I’ve already mentioned in previous articles the worker who can fix electric circuits, play basketball, cook, speak Cantonese, and calm the children. He is most impressive. Ms. Xiaoli is just as impressive. She takes care of the children’s baths, food, and sleep, not to mention washing their dirty clothes. Having been a kindergarten teacher, I know she has a hard, hard job. Now, I still vividly remember Ms. Xiaoli saying that you can be strict because as long as you truly love the children, they can feel it. I respect Teacher Ban and Teacher Qi a lot. If they have time, they will talk about the children with the team of volunteers. They know the circumstance and personality of every child and excel at controlling the children. Usually, the children immediately behave when they come over. Although we have differing opinions about some aspects of managing of the Home, I still respect them from the bottom of my heart. There is also a young and energetic Teacher Wei. The children stay with her for most of their day. When Teacher Wei tells the children to sweep the floor, they were very downcast and low-spirited. The disinterest of the children made her sad, but she soon rebounded. She tells us that she can overcome these problems by herself.
Lastly, let’s talk about our fellow volunteers. What I found very special was that I liked every one of them. They have great personalities and can teach very well. After 24 hours sitting on hard-seated buses, we stopped caring about our outward images. As soon as we sat down to eat, we’d chat away. Laughing together, it became easy to be the last one to finish their food. Today, we hiked and explored a cave together. With the “Motorcycle Prince” leading us, we had a great experience. Although we took torches into the cave with us, they soon went out. In the moist and dark cave, we slid on our bottoms to the other end.
Joining Guangxi Teaching Volunteers was no doubt the best choice I made recently.
Original article written by Aihua Ban, translated and edited by Allison Zhang
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