Today was our second community service trip. We took the Lotus bus to a senior center. This is not like an American senior center, however: its facilities are not nearly as good. The only reason these people are there is because they have nowhere else to go. Family is very important in Chinese culture. Grandparents often live with their grandkids, but occasionally one thing leads to another, and the grandparents are left without that close-knit family support.
Because of this, it was our desire to give them smiles and entertainment for a whole 2 ½ hour period. First we played a game of ‘hit the balloon really hard in any random direction,’ then we did our performances. Eric and Will displayed some American culture with a rap song. Other volunteers who had joined our group performed as well. One guy played violin, many others sang songs. Then a couple of old folks performed, too.
Afterwards, we celebrated birthdays for anyone born in June, July, or August. Lisa brought out a big, beautiful cake and Maret students and Lotus volunteers served everyone.
After the elderly had returned to their rooms, we split up into groups and gave each elderly person a gift from Lotus. It was an anti-itch ointment for mosquito bites.
Everyone went back to Lotus for an organic vegetarian lunch (very tasty I must say!) followed by a discussion about the day’s events.