Everything is wrapping up! Everything is coming to a close! Not just for me, but also for the children and staff too. I leave in a bit more than a week and the rest of the people at Cerecare also end their semester. This week is the week of reflection, there was a lot of looking back at the beginning of the semester for everyone. The teachers were busy this whole week filling out report cards and reflecting on what they did well this semester and what to keep or change next semester. The children had individual tasks of finding their own strengths and weaknesses and what they learned throughout the semester. I reflected on my journey this summer and almost everything it encompasses and my own strengths, weaknesses, and takeaways.
Strengths: There were a lot of strengths that were gifted to me through education. To my basic knowledge of medical and nursing science, along with my caring and genuine personality to help, made me feel both confident and capable of doing what I need to assist the people of Cerecare to the best of my abilities. A lot of strengths were also granted through this journey, such as my Chinese language skills and my understanding of culture as a whole and how much of a difference it makes to almost every aspect of life. And of course how important it is to embrace various cultures and to view certain ideas from a different angle.
Weaknesses: I wish I had so much more to offer the children I am working with. They are everything to me during my stay in Shanghai, and to them, there is an innocence that makes them believe anything is possible. This is something I wish to make them hold onto, and I wish I have done more for the children and staff at Cerecare physically and emotionally. I wish I had more patience. I am not going to lie, sometimes it requires a lot of patience to teach and assist the children. And this makes both parties struggle. I wish I had more patience to watch and better assist the children so they can grow.
Takeaways: Through my strengths and weaknesses, I learned that with a genuine compassionate heart, anything is possible. But also, to make everything possible is very very very difficult. Because through the innocence of these children I learned how to be a better person and more ideas to bring back to the United States and add to my knowledge and education. The biggest and most important takeaway, is how much of an inspiration is all is. I came to Shanghai with Lumos through Projects Abroad with many goals in mind. One of the goals is to find an inspiration on what I want to do later in my career. What I found in Shanghai and Cerecare is more than that, I have found my calling. Through this journey, my biggest takeaway is how I want to continue taking care of children with Cerebral Palsy and other neurological conditions in the United States and the world. I want to continue my education and experience to reach my goal. Through this, I have a deeper understanding of what I want to do later in life.
Everything is really ending! As I listen to the reflections of the children, I could not help but smile with glee. But also a cloud of sadness loomed over me. This will all end. I already hear the children telling me to do not go back to America, because China is my home. And how I must visit them every year! I love their innocence but it is because of them that will make next week extremely heartbreaking. We will see what happens.