July 8 - I went right back to work at the second summer camp after Summer National Conference 2013 ended. Having missed the first day of camp due to the conference I was a little bit lost but my teammates quickly filled in the information gap for me.
This time, the student age was older from 12-16 years old and with direct comparison to the elementary aged kids their English was significantly better. Therefore, we were actually able to run the camp in English and only translate in between when necessary.
Evening of July 8, our friends wanted to have a farewell dinner for Hui Chee and I because we are both leaving Taiwan that day. The group size was big with almost 20 people and as I ate with them I felt so glad to have met so many wonderful people in Taiwan. After dinner, some people left and a smaller group of us went to McDonalds to eat dessert and chat some more. We laughed so much that it hurt and I remember thinking that I am going to miss moments like these a lot when I depart.
July 9 - The third and last day of camp was July 9. The 5 teams of children all worked hard to create a presentation in English about what they have learnt in the camp and present it to family and friends during the showtime later on in the day.
I watched in surprise as the group I was helping to facilitate coordinated so well on creating a presentation together and practised on their own accord. I didn’t have to guide them much and helped mostly by giving English vocabulary and fixing some grammar. Otherwise their work efficiency made me proud and the fact that they presented in a language that they were uncomfortable with made me realize that a little encouragement goes a long way.
|Completion of camp|
At the end of our camp, another large group of us went to eat dinner together. At the end of dinner, I thought that it would be the last time that I would see them since our flights the next day were in the afternoon and travelling to the airport takes an hour. We all exchanged hugs goodbye and looking into the faces of those that I have shared such fond memories with made me very sad. Of the good friends I made in Taiwan, about half are Taiwanese, half are from other parts of the world and a few left Taiwan weeks ago. Wherever they are in the world, they all left such an impact on my experience in Taiwan. I felt sad because this same group of people will probably never meet all at once in the same place again. Even if I visit Taiwan again, the friends from outside Taiwan won’t be there.
Then to my pleasant surprise, many of them said that they will come to where we live at 9am in the morning so that they can eat breakfast with us and see us one last time before we had to leave. That made me happy that I could still say, “See you tomorrow!”
We had dinner round two that evening at 9pm with our homestay family. They really were very kind during our 2 month stay in their home. The food was delicious and we shared about what we had learned and done during our time in Taiwan.
|Photo with homestay family|