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Mahrlo Amposta

July 23, 2018

Volunteer Summary

This month I had the opportunity to volunteer at two cities in China. An opportunity I am
very grateful and appreciative of. The first location was a Tanghe Lehua Primary School in
Tanghe, Henan. The second location was an elementary school in Luoyang. On the surface,
when comparing the two locations it seems as if there are no similarities. One location, Luoyang
was much more developed than the other. Reflecting back on my experience in the comfort of
my hotel room in Luoyang, the accommodations in Tanghe were minimal and the bathroom
plumbing was nonexistent… to put it gently. Which city did I enjoy the most?

In Tanghe, our group taught a range of students from 1st to 6th graders. Myself and three
other group members taught 5th and 6th graders. There were many students eager to receive our
lessons. With a lot of help from my Taiwanese groupmate Oscar as a translator, I gave not only
English lessons but also talked about the importance of pursuing a college education. Talking
about college was perhaps most important to me. In this class I began with showing a satellite
video zooming into my university in San Diego flying to Oscar’s university, Tamkang University
in Taipei and finally to Tsinghua University in Beijing. The purpose of this was to give the
students a look into cities besides their own. The students found it very fascinating as I zoomed
in from miles above earth into literally the classrooms at my school.

In Luoyang, the entire group worked with 1st and 2nd graders. On our arrival to this city
we were treated to a full course meal at a restaurant near our hotel with a teacher. The following
day for lunch we also had a full course meal with many dishes with teachers, and the principal.
They welcomed us graciously and even gave us all a small gift. This week I gave English lessons
on animals, fruits, clothes, and school supplies. I had a lot of interactive PowerPoints and having
the luxury of a projector made the learning experience more enjoyable for the kids. On our last
day the students showered us with thank-you cards and we even received roses.

Although teaching, especially young elementary kids is something I don’t have much
experience with, it was surprisingly very enjoyable. In Tanghe, I felt I was creating more of an
impact. Partly due to the lessons I gave to the older students and partly due to the school having
less resources. The lessons I enjoyed the most are the ones I hope made the most impact. Those
lessons are the ones about pursuing higher education and engineering. Learning English is indeed
important, however I feel the students will come across many more English teachers in their lives
and I wanted to provide a bigger message to the students in the short amount of time with them.
Rural location or not, I think it’s important to encourage kids to learn about Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) since I am studying Electrical Engineering in
college.

My experience during this program has been very meaningful to me. The kids, especially
the ones in Tanghe have left a mark on me. One in particular was 孔俊贤, a 6th grader who
wants to become an inventor when he becomes older. He was very eager to participate and
volunteer since day one. He also really enjoyed my university/engineering lessons. We talked a
bit through the week with the help of my translator app. On the last day I gave him the Tsinghua
welcome bag we received upon volunteer program check-in complete with Tsinghua notebook,
pen, and button. I told him that I hope he continues to study hard and encouraged him to get into
a great school like Tsinghua. I’m not entirely sure I made an impact this month but even if I
positively impacted only one kid, the whole program would be worthwhile.

A thank you card from 孔俊贤

Selfie with the future inventor himself