19-5-2011: Lemar´t´s Birthday video

I prepared this little gift for Lemar´t´s fourth birthday before I left NPH PerĂº, and the current volunteers, Olga, Lilith and Carolina helped me give it to him. I really miss him very much, and it just makes me smile to see him smile. "Te quiero mucho, mi Lemar´t!"

Also, I have received a copy of NPH Newsletter in which features an interview and coverage of the fashion show I did there:



Robert and me.

Some of the guys students all dressed up for the event.

The girls also wore their best dresses and gowns. It was fabulous!

Anna and Robert won the best dressed couple, while Reshma and Greig were elected as their bridesmaid and best man.

Matthew wore the mask of Prince William.

Here I am sitting by my bed resting on a Sunday Afternoon. There´s nothing more rewarding than this after a week of full activities. Well, it´s really not that bad. In fact, it has been really good. I work 9 to 5, go back home and make dinner, rest for an hour and do another hour of exercise. Very regular life but I am loving it. That´s what I want for myself really.

Last Monday we had a Royal Wedding Street Party at the centre. It wasn´t technically a street party, we just decorated it like the street. Everybody dressed up, we had some finger food, and the students were having a good time hanging out with each other. At the end, the best dressed gal and guy were chosen, so were their best man and bridesmaid. The rest of them formed a arm bridge for them to go across. The party ended with a dancing session where many of them loved.

My work has been getting on quite well. After a couple weeks of working in different sessions, I have gathered some new ideas on how to make the work better which hopefully improve the performance and learning of the students. I have learned to ignore the noises and politics around me as I know that my focus is to facilitate these wonderful souls to maximize their potentials and make them feel confidence in themselves. And I am here to achieve my short-term and long-term goals. The students are just so precious! They are some of the most genuine, sweetest and funniest people you will ever meet! I just love to be around them, and I really appreciate their sincerity and honesty. Even the less verbal ones who sometimes seem a bit disconnected, you can connect with them when they can feel that you are there for them and care about them. On Friday, a 40 something-year-old student who was talking to himself the whole time and never responded to anyone was in the computer class where he was disturbing others by talking to himself too much. So I worked with him a bit and tried to make him calm and quiet in the class. By the middle of the class, he was really quiet and I praised himself quite a bit for that. At the end of the class, I let him watch his idol Teresa Tang´s music video on Youtube, and his smile was so innocent and sweet that it was like a small child. At that moment, I almost bursted into tears. It was such a rewarding way to end my week of work!



My new buddy, Josh and me.

It was a really good day. I finally start my working days again in Hong Kong in order to fulfil my dreams in the near future. But, I wouldn´t compromise myself, and I had chosen to do something I feel right for me. I can´t work in the commercial world, and it woulld really put me off with lots of office politics and rivalry for status and money. I was fortunate enough to find a work for a NGO which specializes in facilitating adults with special needs. I had never worked with adults with special needs before, so it is very interesting to me. And I know I can enjoy myself and having a balanced life as well (No Overtimes and work in the weekend, for instance).

I woke up at 7:16am, which is a little bit late but fortunately I managed to get to work on time. It was a little bit chaotic in the beginning with the schedules and things as everything is new, but I think it is normal. But once we started working directly with the students, I felt like home and it went very smoothly. I love working with them as they are very sweet. The challenges are with those who have poor or no language skills and physical handicaps, but they were also very lovely to work with.

We did painting in the morning, getting ready for some arty decoration for the Royal Wedding Street party next monday. It was really hard for most of them to even painting, and it took a lot of efforts to get them work well, although I knew they were trying their best already. I particularly worked with Emily, Bertille and Reshma, and they were all great. After the painting session we had lunch. A funny thing happened when Tiffany refused to eat her sandwiches and left the room, Bertille who sat next to her instantly grabbed her sandwiches and ate them! It was a chaotic moment but it was really hilarious! Then, Robert, a student, and I went out to buy some lunch. He showed me to go to a Japanese restaurant and we got some lunch boxes. He walked really fast and constantly I had to remind him not to slow down. But he is a very cool person and we hung out a bit during lunch.

Before we went to the Hong Kong Football Club where we had a dancing session, I talked to another student, Vicky, who has real great talent with languages and piano. She speaks English, Cantonese and Japanese, and currently taking Grade 6 piano lessons! It is very impressive for a young lady with special needs! So I told her how talented she is and she needs to keep going and learn more, and she smiled and said, "You have just made my day!" It had made my day as well to see her so happy. As I hopped on the bus to go to the dance class, another student, Joshua, invited me to sit with him. He is very sweet person, and I got to know a little bit better about him. He showed me the music in his iPod and some pictures of his family. I really adore him. In the dance class, I spent most of my time with Emily who needs to walk with a walking frame. She was very quiet during painting, but she surprised me with her energy at dance class, and she loves to dance! So I danced quite a bit with her, although she got tired from time to time. She could even skip and jump sometimes! I taught her how to swirl and turn around, which she found a lot of fun.

It was an extremely fulfilling day, and I´m so happy to be around all these beautiful people who are just lovely!