Hi. I’m Spencer.

Our group was attached to Hushu school which helps those who have mental disabilities. The school helps the students learn skills that they can then go out and survive in the world with. The teachers are fantastic at their jobs, and they truly have love for their students.

On the first meeting with the students, I learnt something. Or rather, I was harshly reminded of the fact that my Chinese speaking is…very very terrible. Not just the speaking but the understanding of the language in general. And that the students were really curious about us.  When we met them, they were shy and when introducing themselves, some had difficulties saying their names and were really anxious. A light-hearted moment was when they sat back down and after the teacher remarked that as guests we should be seated instead (we were standing up and facing them). Immediately they pulled us up and onto the chairs, making us laugh with their eagerness. And just like that, the awkwardness was gone.

We split into 2 groups with 1 group helping the teachers prepare for sports day the next day.

I was part of the group that brought a class of 7 students to the Grand Canal Museum square. We were to act as guardians help the teachers take care of the students. This is us walking along the riverbank.

One thing I find hilarious is that the girl in black with the red scarf was a student. Her form of disability isn’t too bad and she helps the teachers get the students in order. I’m was really surprised to learn that she was a student and not a helper like we were.

Fun note, we had a mini karaoke session along the bank of this river. I brought along a speaker and the students and us had a sing along. It was really hard to get over the sheer awkwardness of it but it got pretty fun afterwards.

This picture makes me smile the student here has quite a noticeable difficulty walking. But he has adapted to it pretty well. Walking up the steps was no problem for him, and short running is good too.

And finally, here’s Daniel with his favorite student.

It’s really easy to interact with the students of Hushu. They’re all ready to make friends and always happy. It’s really amazing and I’m glad to be a part of it.

This picture was from our WaiMai dinner that night. It’s fascinating how lazy you can get with friends knowing food is a few swipes on your phone away.

The next day was their sports day.  I don’t have any photos except this one, but the students and their parents were inspirational. I was the ballpicker for basketball and what I saw was awesome. Even with disabilities, the students were able to land baskets. But what was more interesting was the unceasing cheering of their peers and the never give up attitude they had. I learnt a lot from this sports day. And ultimately, all were winners, and I was proud of them.

Here are the winners from Singapore.

Time for some rest.

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