“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill
I wrote about the three days I spent in Batam with my amazing Fuhua students before (Read: Post Batam Camp Thoughts), but it was only words filled with my thoughts on the trip, no photos or visuals whatsoever. I don't remember taking any videos and I think I've lost half of the visuals I took after deactivating my Facebook account, but I did snap a few shots here and there. Have fun taking a peak into what I do for a living :)
I have had the chance to experience working with many different schools and for different purposes (mostly adventure related) but my programs have been inclined towards services for orphanages lately, and it has been such a heartwarming experience. This time with Fuhua, we visited one of the local orphanages in Batam to help beautify their school and help with tasks such as planting a garden, painting classroom and buildings, and even got down and dirty with cement mixing to make road pavements!
After job delegations, we got down to business. Each class was given different tasks that they needed to complete over the twelve hours that they will be spending here at the orphanage and mine was in charge of the painting everything (from the classrooms, to the kitchen and even the exterior of buildings) and I am so impressed with how much effort they put in, having to endure the hot sun and my constant nagging.
As mentioned earlier, there were other tasks that were delegated and Hafiz's class was in charge of making the road pavement. They literally started from scratch with just cement, water and very limited equipment to work with. I have to say, it was the most time consuming task there was on the list but they did a tremendous job completing the tedious work in just twelve hours. Some of the students even forgo their breaks just to continue working on the pavement, so that they could leave the trip with a completed goal.
One thing I love about working in foreign countries is the chance to interact with the locals there. I couldn't help but to join the kindergarten students while they were enjoying what looked like recess. Bear in mind that these children are not as open to foreigners or tourists, as how it is for the kindergartens in Singapore. But yet, they were so welcoming to me and my students when we paid them a visit and wanted to join in on their playtime. Some of them were even more than happy to learn some English words from us, it felt so good to be able to make a difference, even just by a little.
The boys in my class were so well behaved so I kept giving them breaks in between the hard work that they put in but boys being boys, they can never see an open area and leave a soccer ball untouched. It was exhilarating watching my students (including the teachers!) get together and got a chance to have a kick around with the boys from the orphanage. I have always believed that one should not just go on service trips for the sake of helping. To interact, make a difference and experience things others don't have a chance of experiencing is a bonus.
Although this post is long overdue, I definitely couldn't have done it and enjoy the process without an awesome team of instructors by my side. It was going to be our last camp for a long time but never did we regret taking leaves from our full time jobs, just to be a part of this. I hope my students had a fulfilling trip and learnt some things out of this too :)