201310031041美大學生Michelle的生命體驗

美大學生Michelle的生命體驗

~by Michelle

Before I came to Bethany Home, my mind was filled with anxiety and curiosity. I was anxious of meeting the students there and curious about how they live their lives at Bethany Home. Knowing that the students suffer with learning disabilities, I was skeptical of what I could do for them. I was afraid that two weeks of volunteering might be a challenge for me.

The anxiety still went on as I arrived to Bethany Home. I followed my mother's foot steps walking into the campus as I sought comfort in this environment. The place was big, warm, and filled with laughter as the kids lined up beside the basketball court, waiting to learn basketball from other volunteers. Their laughter was so loud and happy; it made me wonder if I could also make them laugh the way they did. Soon after we passed the line, a girl came down the pathway and smiled at us. "姐姐好! ", she said happily. It was a shock that she would call us 姐姐 since she looked like she was at an age of 26, which leaves a ten-year gap between us. She was so excited to see us that she began to shake our hands and wouldn't let go. Her friendliness lightened up my anxiety, and immediately, a big smile appeared on my face.

師母 was nice enough to give my mother and I a tour around the campus. As we went deeper into the campus, that was when I realized that the campus owns a whole menagerie. There were cows, peacocks, pigs, turkeys, countless chickens, swans, ducks, ostriches, and a herd of goats. It's like their own personal zoo! We then visited the factory, a working place for students who have less serious learning disabilities. The teachers assign different jobs for the students in the factories. There are jobs such as farming, picking red beans, and making 洋釘.

In my first two days there, I went to different classrooms to look after the students with more severe learning disabilities. On my first day I went to a classroom that had a mix of girls and boys. I wasn't sure about what my job was, so I just sat there and observed the students. I realized that some students could not stop themselves from urinating, they didn't have self control. It was all the teachers' job to clean them and wash them. However, there were other students who had a better control of themselves. When the teacher tells them to go to the bathroom or wash their hands, they obey the teacher's order and do everything by themselves. The most amazing thing to see was that the kids with more control take care of the kids with less control; it was like they were being the teacher's assistants. It was quite interesting to see how each student take care of each other, because they knew that they all suffer from the same problem and somehow they knew that they had to help each other out. It's teamwork!

Starting from the third day, I worked in the factory with a whole bunch of different kids. They are less severe than the kids in the classrooms. They know what their jobs are or when lunch time is, they're just like normal people, but with some minor problems. I followed the teacher, who was responsible for farming, and she taught me how to 蓋竹筍 and told me to observe the kids and see how they do it. My first try was terrible! I couldn't grasp what they were doing and what we were trying to do! I watched the kids doing it so fast, like real experts. I thought that this place has a really good system of giving these kids jobs that they do everyday. The teachers have to give a lot of time and attention on these kids for them to learn well and safely. The jobs help normalize the kids and let them have the chance to live like normal people.

In the two weeks at Bethany Home, I have met so many different people and tried so many new things. It really has been a great experience meeting these kid. They taught the importance of tolerance and appreciation. I have to say that I felt like two weeks weren't long enough to spend time with them; they still have so much more for me to learn from. After spending two weeks with these kids, I became really close to them and it was really sad to leave them. Now when I see people like them in Taipei, I think about these kids and can't wait to see them again next year! Bethany Home has taught me so much and it was definitely worth the trip!

Michelle

【中譯】

來到伯大尼之前,我心裡既好奇又忐忑不安,有點擔心如何跟憨兒們相處,卻又很想了解他們的生活狀況。特別是這裡的孩子都有學習上的障礙,讓我有些困惑不知自己能為他們做些什麼,二週的志願服務必將充滿挑戰。

抵達伯大尼時,仍難掩心中的不安,跟著媽媽的腳步踏入園區,沒想到一進入那個環境竟讓我漸漸釋懷。園區好大,感覺極為溫馨,籃球場上孩子們排隊等著志工教他們上籃,洋溢著笑聲,響亮又開心,我不禁自問我是否能像那些志工一樣帶給孩子們這麼多的歡樂?才過了一會,有個女孩子朝著我們走過來,笑咪咪的跟我們打招呼「姐姐好!」讓我們嚇了一跳,因為她看起來大約26歲上下,跟我們整整差了十歲,卻叫我們姊姊,她很興奮的來跟我們握手,緊抓著不放,熱情友善的態度挪去了我心頭的擔憂,頓時,我也開心的笑了!

許師母貼心的親自為媽媽和我導覽,深入園區,我才發覺這裡儼然就像個動物園。有牛、孔雀、豬、火雞,數不清的雞群、天鵝、鴨子、鴕鳥、山羊和牛群,簡直就像是私人動物園!然後,我們參觀了技藝教室,那是障礙程度比較輕的孩子學習工作技能的地方,老師們按能力分配學生的工作內容,有的學農牧、挑紅豆,有的做洋釘代工。

剛到的頭二天,我被分配到不同的班級去照顧一些重障的孩子。第一天服務的班級有男生、有女生。剛開始不曉得從何幫起,就先坐下來觀察。我發現有些憨兒無法自我控制排尿,所以幫他們善後洗淨就成了老師們的工作;還好有些孩子是可以自理的,當老師提醒他們上廁所、並且要把手洗乾淨,他們會順著老師的引導,自己做得很好。最令人驚奇的是,許多自理能力稍微好一點點的孩子,還會主動照顧能力比自己差的孩子們,成了老師的最佳助手。很有意思,孩子們竟然會這般的互相照顧,我想這是因為他們受同樣的苦,比誰都能體會彼此的難處,更理解要彼此扶持,這是互為肢體的展現!

第三天開始,我加入一大群孩子一起在技藝教室工作。這些都是比較輕度的孩子,他們知道自己的工作內容、知道用餐時間,看起來跟常人沒二樣,只有一些小小的問題。我跟著農牧班的老師到竹林幫筍子覆土,老師要我觀察孩子們怎麼做,就跟著做。但我學來有點亂七八糟,他們的動作迅速俐落,像真正的專家,我完全抓不著竅門。我想,這裡真的有一個很棒的運作系統,可以讓孩子們每天操練工作技巧。老師們花了相當多的時間和精力教導,讓他們得到適當又安全的訓練,這些操作讓孩子們維持正常的功能,讓他們有機會像常人般的生活。

在伯大尼的這二週,我見到各式各樣的人,也嘗試許多新事物,能跟這群孩子相處是非常棒的經驗,他們教導我包容和感恩的重要性。我不得不說,我要跟他們學的東西實在太多,二個星期的時間太匆促,根本不夠!這段時間相處下來,我們變得好親近,要離開時真叫人難過。現在,我在台北若遇到像他們一樣的人,就忍不住想起他們,巴不得明年的假期趕快來到,可以再去找他們!伯大尼之家真的帶給我好多寶貝的功課,是一趟非常珍貴的旅程!

謝謝師母和院長這陣子對我的照顧!

Michelle

 

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