Me as the lead cast of the skit. Bad idea, my spoken mandarin is not smooth to say the least, yet I had to memorise lines and the script in Chinese – a challenge I accepted.

Amidst the hectic schedules of the mid-term, I decided to throw caution to the wind and joined the midterm service team of the Fundamental Cultural Service Club (交大文服社 ). Like me, the members were busy with their deadlines and exams but they took out time to organise a 2 day camp to a primary school nonetheless. The conduct of the programme was so well thought-out that I believed it must have been a product of years of planning and smoothing out the rough edges. The club members were brimming with enthusiasm rivalled only by the children.

Before the actual trip, we had to rehearse our skits, prepare our dance, create our posters, think up our games, form our groups, etc. Four weeks four sessions of preparations in our campus and we were done, ready to set off to Taoyuan and meet the children of Xinjie Primary School (新街国小).

The morning of our first day.

As we warm up to the kids with small talks and games, we went outside to have some fun. What you see here is only one out of six teams of children, already potent as it is.

We made nicknames for all the club members. It was especially interesting: All nicknames should be in 7 characters and they should refer to a cartoon character. I took liberties with that and created my own character. One worth a mention is 李奥纳多·皮卡丘 (Leonardo Pikachu, reference to Leonardo DiCaprio) – really creative. We wrote them down onto large tags and strung them around our necks for easy reference. Turns out, it was really useful for the kids to call out to us! (Not least the result of thoughtful planning!)

What’s a camp without songs and music! Two of our members taught the children the lyrics of our chosen song, 让我留在你身边 by Eason Chan, all the while juggling between keeping the attention of the children and staying in key(children sang in full two octaves higher gosh), I was to find myself humming to this song for months to come.

On the first night, we did a mini performance run with 7 acts, consisting of comedy, dance and drama. It was a long time since I last went on stage.

On day 2, we had a series of science experiments to jog the little minds of the kids. It was particularly enjoyable to watch them become fascinated by the unusual natural phenomenon. Their curious minds never fails to invoke in me the desire to teach.

Finally on the afternoon of day 2, we ended out little get-together camp and concluded the event with a mass dance and song!

2 days was a short time, but those days left me rather heartfelt and bittersweet. I may have ended this trip to Taoyuan, but I heard there would be more to come next week with the local primary school in Hsinchu! Looking forward to that~




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