Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Using Our Remaining Time

After my team teaches four or five weeks of camps at our school, we usually have what we call an “office week.” We are still required to be at our school during work hours, but we don’t have students.  Instead, we sit in the office and work on lessons or do various work projects, activities, and outings with the Taiwanese staff. It makes for a nice change in pace and some rest after several weeks with students. Recently during one of these weeks, our staff scheduled for us to drive out and visit some of the schools that sent their kids to our school for camp earlier in the semester. Since we usually only know our students for one week, it was so fun to see their faces again.

We got to hang out with them in the school library, and the noise got so loud that I had a hard time hearing their replies to my questions, they were so excited! One moment that struck me at the end of our visit was when my teammate, Sofia, told them that she was leaving Taiwan and going back to Mexico at the end of this semester. Several of the girls around her burst into tears, and poor Sofia was confused about whatever it was she could have done that made them cry! One of our teachers translated to her why they were crying, she did her best to comfort them with hugs and taking pictures with them. Sometimes it seems like we have such a limited time to interact with our students that is too short to mean much to them, but I was reminded that every moment we invest in them here does have a significant emotional impact in their lives.

Fae & Sofia
These months in Taiwan have gone by so fast, and there have always been more opportunities for people to meet or to talk to then there is time to follow up on. As our 2015-2016 school year comes to a close, many of us are left with hard decisions on how best to use the short time we have left. For some of us, this means traveling around the island in our free time for a final goodbye to various friends we have made. For others, visiting or hosting students and teachers they have worked with throughout the year. For me, it means taking time close to our home here to help with a local kid’s ministry that needs workers before leaving them for the summer and investing time hanging out with a few close coworkers and teammates. What I do know is that any time we choose to invest in others is not a waste.

~S. Fae Larson

Fae is from Minnesota. She has been with VOICE Missions in Taiwan since February 2011, and has worked at both the Yunlin and Chiayi team locations. Some of her favorite places to visit in Taiwan are in the mountains, such as Alishan national park. She enjoys, hiking, drawing, and Studio Ghibli films.

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