Day 26: An Acceptance of Appreciation

When our video started to play, our group was sitting in front of the audience facing the audience. It was an exciting experience since I have never watched my audience watch my product. I have always become the audience and watch my product with them. 

From the angle I was sitting at, I could not see Mr. Tan well only occasionally I could be able to see his face. Mr. Tan started the same with his eyes focused on the video but showing a grumpy mood. Then came an extraordinary moment. When the video started talking about his passion for photography, he smiled. It was the first time that I had to seem him smile. When the video turned to talk about his sons, I could see a glimpse of tears of his eyes. I was not sure if it was because he was touched and had memories, but there was more water in his eyes than usual. I thought that I had achieved the best.

When my group walked him back, Mr. Tan kept on saying that he was fine and could go home himself. However, when we insisted on walking him again, he did not say much, but I could see that he had a smile on his face. Mr. Tan talked about how our video was the best out of all four of them and said that he was proud. 

We thought that we had achieved the best. But we were proved wrong on the walk back to Mr. Tan's store. We had achieved trust. When we first asked Mr. Tan for childhood photos, he said that he did not like to take pictures when he was younger and did not have childhood photos. However, on the walk back, he apologized saying that he had the childhood photos and if he had given the pictures to us, the video would have been better. At that moment it did not matter how good our video was but how strong the relationship was between our group and our service learning partner. Afterall, the video's purpose was to say thank you to the community, and the trust felt like more than an  acceptance of the appreciation. 


I'm 13 years old and my favorite hobbies are to bake and do crafts. I am originally from Taiwan, however, I have only lived in Taiwan for a year. This is my 8th year at Shanghai American school. I went to Xizhou and absolutely fell in love with the environment, people, and culture. I can't wait to go back and visit!