#176 Project Agape: Kashgar (Tashkurgan Secondary)
Sunday, 31 August 2014

Right, so keeping to my promise about updating about the rest of my OCSP trip earlier in May (gosh, has it already been 3 months?!), today's post features our time spent in Tashkurgan Secondary. Basically Part 01 of our 3 part community service in China, and arguably our most memorable part of the trip.

To be perfectly honest, I went into this with a pessimistic and cynical mindset. Our time spent over at Damai Primary in Singapore for our pre-OCSP left me with an incredibly bad impression about educating kids in general and I was dreading having to interact with another bunch of demon spawns. However, I was completely proven wrong with the bunch of kids over at Tashkurgan Secondary. They were so eager to learn and very well behaved, it was almost like a huge culture shock that I was experiencing. Puts in perspective what people mean when they say Singaporean kids are spoilt. To a certain extent, we don't cherish things like our education and safety as much because we are born with the mindset that these things are a given. When in fact, they should be seen as privileges instead and not to be taken for granted.

We went there with the purpose to help enrich the lives of the children and teach them something, and at the risk of sounding cliche and cheesy or whatever, I honestly believe I learnt more from the kids than what I've passed on to them. I came back to Singapore with the mentality that every time I feel ungrateful about something and basically just feel like whining like a spoilt brat, I remind myself of what I've seen over in Tashkurgan and tell myself that I should focus on the positives rather than the negatives. #pollyanna

My time spent there also definitely put in perspective how different children in developed and developing countries are brought up. They entertain themselves with outdoor activities and games involving a group of people. Back here, kids are constantly glued to a screen and hooked onto anything which emits bright lights and colours. I just hope my niece and future nephews/nieces don't grow up addicted to gadgets.

It was a tearful moment for many when we had to leave after 3 days. I'm not one to be sentimental and stuff and I'm pragmatic enough to know I won't be contacting the kids once I'm back in Singapore. Hence I didn't really bother as much as the rest of my team to bond with the kids and exchange contacts etc. I didn't want to give them false hope and the impression that we will still keep in touch after I leave. Because the truth of the matter is, I won't. Personally, I just hope I managed to leave as lasting an impression on them as they have done with me.

Okay, this will probably be the most insightful post out of all the past and future OCSP entries, ha-ha. Hopefully I won't be drowning in school work this term and manage another entry some time soon.


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written at 17:48