Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy Busy Weekend

After the beautiful and exhausting hike yesterday (yea yea, pictures still yet to be sorted and posted), I had a even busier Sunday today. Crazy weekend!! (But full of fun and joy!! ^o^ )

Volunteering+Playing with kids at Po Leung Kok

Woke up at 8:30 this morning rushing to meet up with other volunteers at Po Leung Kok with Erica and Andrei. Po Leung Kok (保良局) is a shelter home for family-less kids. The volunteers' task was to spend time and play with the orphan kids there. The kids were really little, about half a year old to 2 years old. I love playing with little kids. I still remembering very vividly one of my first non-technical part time jobs in the States (when I was still in high school) was to work as a teacher-assistant at a pre-school, taking care of a bunch of tiny babies and little kids. =D I loved that part time job!!

The kids at Po Leung Kok was not much different from normal kids - They love to play, especially playing outside (we played at an outdoor playground), and are afraid of strangers at first but overcome the fear shortly afterwards. Most of them have very distinct personality too. For example, the little girl that I was assigned to love playing slide, fixing disordered things (she would pick up all the plastic balls laying around in the playground and put them in a box, including those that were currently occupied by other kids...), and she loved watching cars and butterflies. ^o^ It was very fun playing with them. Sometimes I think I am actually the one benefiting from the volunteer work, since I get such enjoyment playing with those kids!! (yea, see my real selfish motive here, huh? =D )

I heard from another volunteer that there were this triplet siblings who were abandoned by their parents all at once... Watching those 3 kids, you'll never imagine what they have gone through. Though they are probably still too young to feel any pain, but still.... I felt a bit heartbroken even though they were smiling and running around like normal kids would. I know volunteering and playing with these kids once in awhile probably won't make any huge actual difference in their life. But... somewhere in my heart, a little voice called out and said to me, "I hope it would.... at least that's what I can do for them right now...."

Wanchai Outdoor Bookfair

After saying bye to the kids and leaving Po Leung Kok, I came home straight and showered. Yea, playing with little kids (or more like "being played by them") for almost 2 hours can be VERY sweaty, especially at an outdoor playground with the bright sunlight happily shining on our heads and backs!! ;) It was worth it though. I was chatting and sharing our "kids playing" experience very fondly with another volunteer worker and his mom. It was great seeing someone at our age (or I think he's a bit younger) went volunteer this early on a Sunday morning and even went with his mom!! ^_^

Okay okay, I probably can keep talking about playing with kids for another 2 hours, but I won't bore you with the details. ;)

Mike and I went out to lunch, refilling the large amount of energy I used running after the kids this morning! Then we went to this outdoor bookfair at Wanchai. I have never been to an outdoor bookfair before...

And this is how it looked like....... Yea, very crowded...

I, of coz, immediately "dived in".....
Poor Mike - since the bookfair was mostly for Chinese books. I told him to go home first when he got bored, since I know I'd want to "wander" here (with no time pressure) for .... hmm... an infinite amount of time?

The book selection was nowhere as big as the annual bookfair in Summer; however, there were still some decent choices, especially if you know how to read simplified Chinese characters...

Hehe... Look, the post-Halloween "treat" I gave myself !! haha~ ^_^

What did I get? Well... my selection included :

I know I know, I studied computers and engineering and all that, but my HK friends and my family would probably remember that I was actually a big Chinese literature fan before I moved to the States. I still remembered I used to copy down all the classic Chinese poems and poetry (唐詩/宋詞) on this fancy hardcovered notebook that I had. I love those classic Chinese poems and the like....
And of coz, being an EECS girl at Berkeley trapping in the various computer labs being buried by all kinds of CS projects and deadlines for 4 years didn't really help much in my Chinese literature study. But deep down in my heart, my love for Chinese classic poems and poetry never dies.... So... THERE!!! I have ALL THE RIGHT in the world to buy such a nerdy poems appreciation book, haha!!! ^_^

And the reasons I got these two Chinese four-character idioms/proverbs (成語) books were even more unexpected! In fact, I knew most of these idioms/proverbs already. But each of these idioms has a very unique and interesting historic origin or background story. I thought teaching Mike Chinese through these stories and proverbs will be a different flavor from his regular Chinese lessons ;) We'll see how that goes... Also, it will be useful for me to practice my simplified Chinese character reading speed as well !! ^_^

okok, I won't bore you with my detailed list of book purchase. When I was at the bookfair, I needed to constantly remind myself that I am going to the Eslite bookstore (誠品書店) at Taiwan very soon, and not to mention that I can probably borrow most of these books from the public library here at HK (yea, believe it or not, they have a surprisingly amazing selection at the public library here!! ;) So I tried REALLY hard to buy books that I'd really like to keep instead of just read!! =D

Speaking of the Public Library....

After the bookfair, I dragged Mike with me to the main public library to renew/borrow new books. (haha... yea, our usual Sunday activity).
My recent favorite author is Haruki Murakami. Finished his "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" and "A Wild Sheep Chase", going to start his more recent book "Kafka on the Shore" tomorrow. It's amazing how he bends words to make me feel like I am in a melancholy dream (even though the writing is already translated into English, not his original words). Wish that someday (very soon - *crossing my finger* ) my Japanese is good enough that I can read his most famous epic "Norwegian Wood" in Japanese, its original language!! ^_______^

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