This summer, 21 of us from the Education University of Hong Kong joined the Leadership Development camp organized by FSL-India, at Bangalore. It is an impressive camp with a great variety, which enabled us to explore India in depth, such as school teaching, home visit, sight-seeing, as well as interaction with the local residents. During the period, we gained chances to step out of our comfort zone, which is significant to our future life.
During the volunteering teaching, we tried to use limited resources and brought a variety of activities to the students. In the course, our problem solving skills and communication skills were enhanced. Our teaching experience was also enriched. We believe that it would help us a lot in our future. Apart from teaching, we had built a close relationship with the students and passed positive messages and behaviours to them.
Through the designing of activities for different age groups, we learnt how to interact with them smoothly by understanding their background, personality, needs and emotions. Besides, we got a chance to paint a large wall in the school, through which we learnt to cooperate among ourselves. The whole process left a remarkable memory for us all.
Home visit and community service were other important parts of the camp. We got a deeper understanding of cultural issues in India, such as marriage, food culture and living environment. The marriage culture has left a deep impression on us, which holds quite a conventional mode, in which the parents play the most important role. The difference between India and Hong Kong food culture is distinct and we were glad to get the chance to try different local food and in the meantime, share with them about our own food culture. Moreover, the living environment differs among villages and we also got a chance to explore the living condition of different social classes.
Apart from the school activity and family visits, we have visited the flower garden, the farms, the government nursery and temple. It was the first time for most of us to wash the cows or pick flowers – participating in agricultural work is not common in Hong Kong. Many of the activities were first thought to be dirty and difficult for us, but we finally managed to finish them .We have learnt how to live environmentally friendly. We felt a greater respect to the agricultural industry and we were glad to have the opportunity to escape from the hectic life in Hong Kong .The splendid and ancient culture of multi-religions here also left us with a deep impression.
The accommodation is close to the Bangalore Airport. It was comfortable to live for 21 of us. The water and electricity supply was sufficient. The life style here enabled us to think more about nature and environment protection, while it kept us away from digital work. We were also glad to have many enthusiastic neighbours around us. They always invited us to visit their home, chat with them and share food with us.
We would like to express our since appreciation to our host, Manju for planning the 14-day activity so well. Because of his responsibility, the passion and his open mind, the camp became well organized, as well as full of fun and inspiration. We also would like to thank the families and the school who have taken really good care of us and given opportunities for us to try various things.
In conclusion, we learnt a great amount, which was out of activities from the work camp. We all believe that it was a once -in-a-life time experience, which will be kept in our mind for a rather long time.