Instead of getting rays in Thailand or returning home for a visit, International Academy of Beijing students Abigail (Grade 6) and Emily Lesh (Grade 8) assisted their mother (who was teaching there) and volunteered at Bethel China Foundation all summer long.
Read about their volunteer experience below:
“When our mom first told us about going to Bethel for the summer, we thought it would be really boring. We would be two hours away from our house with no computer and no TV. We would be eating Chinese food every day, and most importantly, no shopping. Plus, it was REALLY hot. Slowly our opinions started to change.
At Bethel, we would do things from teaching English classes, to decorating rooms and organizing boxes. We also helped one of the older kids translate Braille books for their library. The days were long and hot, but it was worth it because at the end of each day we were happy to go to the little boys’ house and play with them before they went to sleep.
Being at Bethel gave us many experiences that we were able to bring back to our everyday lives. Our Chinese improved, and we now feel more confident about using it. We learned how to interact with kids better, and gradually became more comfortable around them. We also experienced what REAL Chinese food tastes like from eating the meals (most of them) at Bethel everyday. Overall, Bethel was an experience worth remembering.
As time went by, the things we did at Bethel felt more like a vacation, and less like work. When we left we were really sad, and we hope we get to visit because we miss the kids already. The summer was definitely not what we expected; it exceeded our expectations. We’re so glad we were able to go.”
To learn more about Bethel, read our previous post here.
Anyone interested in volunteering with Bethel China Foundation may contact them directly.