i've got to thank lady S and my hubby for getting me involved with the chinese development assistance council (CDAC). it's a well-organized group that welcomes volunteers for specific projects, like the project CARE which we participated in. 200 elderlies who are living alone in one-room flats were escorted by 200 volunteers to esplanade for a show and a lantern walk — something that is a rarity for them. it's amazing how something so simple can be so meaningful. we take the everyday things forgranted, forgetting that many people don't have the same simple pleasures we do.
my auntie, AY, is very social and independent. it's a shame i couldn't speak with her very much, as she only spoke little english. we communicated in smiles and held hands, and i somehow managed to find out that she's 72 years strong. =) it was her first time to see the marina bay sands.
esplanade walk was all decked out with red lanterns and had a few dieties on stilts including the monkey god. (don't know what it is about monkeys in mythology, but just gotta love 'em). the twilight hues blended well with the outdoor ampitheater's mood lighting too. =)
the seats in the ampitheater were reserved for our elderlies, so the volunteers had to find a space to hang out while our charges enjoyed the show. of course, the singer had to sing 'the moon represents my heart' on this moonlit mid-autumn night to fulfill the cliche. =) managed to steal some time to enjoy a cup of thai iced tea, and found this little bug on my water cup.
once the show was over, we lit up the lanterns and assisted our aunties and uncles in walking back to their bus loading area. it's almost child-like how happy they were to see their lanterns lit up from within by candlelight.
plenty of happy smiles and thank-you's being exchanged before we waved goodbye to our charges for the night. my auntie AY was on the other side of the bus, but she stood up to wave a happy goodbye to me. grin. it was exhausting, but anything worthwhile usually requires energy and attentiveness.
this little exursion, this fraction of my time, will add to their stories and give them something to smile about when they go back to their usual daily routines. hopefully, this is a reminder to them that they are not alone, and encourage them to build a circle around themselves. it's not a big leap; it's a small ember, in the sum of things. but isn't life a sum of the little flickers that light us up from the inside? i hope i've managed to light my auntie, just a little bit. i definitely feel lit after this experience.
hope i can get roo involved in some volunteer work soon. i think she's got the heart for it. so happy to do this with my H too. makes me proud that i'm married to the dude. =)