One week at the disabled children center feels like you have been there for months and makes you really want to stay much longer!

Before my week started at the Disabled Children Center I had been there once before with Dora from the Xubo organization. We went there Friday before so I had the chance to introduce myself to my supervisor at the Center and to get my timetable. To be honest, I wasn’t that enthusiastic at the beginning. There were three classes I had to teach. But because it is a Disabled Children Center I wasn’t really sure how to teach them English. All the children are mentally disabled so their ability to learn English isn’t that big as the ability of children at a regular school.

Without any expectations I went to the Center on Monday morning. From the very first beginning my opinion about the Center changed completely. My supervisor was so sweet and gave me such a good feeling from the beginning on hence I really felt welcome. What I had to do was assisting the teachers in class. So I didn’t have to teach them English alone or without any help. The first class which I had to help was a massage class. Basically I let the children massage me. But I also taught them English that hour. I gave them all an English name and taught them how to introduce themselves. Something that is so simple to us… has such a big meaning for them! They were so proud of themselves that they learned how to introduce themselves. And their English name was so important for them that most of them remembered their name for the rest of the week. Some forgot how to say “’My Name Is’”… but their name was something they did remember! They on the other hand gave me a Chinese name, which I forgot after 10 minutes.

Most of the classes they have are practical classes. Classes like massaging, cooking, drumming, dancing. But they also do have mathematics. Between every class they have a break of 10 minutes. If they do not have that break it would be too much for them. They really need some time to relax and to walk around.

On my first day I wasn’t that close with the children. They didn’t knew me, I didn’t knew them. They spoke Chinese, I spoke English. They knew how it all worked at their school, I had seriously no idea. But the second day I realized that I had made a bigger impression on them than I thought at the beginning. When I walked on the playground the second day all the children were waving, smiling and coming to me! They all said hello and walked around me. They recognized me and wanted to be around me. That feeling is indescribable. If you see all these children laughing and waving. And you see their faces so honest, friendly and pure. That really gives you an incredible feeling. And from that moment I knew, that I really was going to love this week with them!

I learned this week that even though you don’t speak the same languages and you know each other for only a few days... you can become really close with people. I have had so much fun with these children. We played games, we tried to communicate and I helped them with their schoolwork. The children are really fun. They sang for me, danced with me and gave me drawings.

I have had an awesome week. Not only because of the children but also because of the teachers there. They are all so friendly, nice and welcoming. My supervisor was so sweet for me and helped me whenever I needed her. Every day I eat lunch with the teacher there and we always had such nice conversations.

Even though I have been there for only one week I will miss the kids and just being there. But because it is only 10 minutes away from the flat, I know that I definitely will stop by a few times to see the children again in the next few months!