Wednesday, 19 October 2011
I have studied Mandarin Chinese for 5 years. 3 in my home country: the USA, 1 year in China, and 1 year in Chinese Restaurants in the USA as a waitress. And now I am learning Chinese language and how to live my life, as a graduate student in Nanjing, China. My sole link to Malaysia resides in my partner in crime in Beijing, a Malaysian native who is part of a scholarship program that sends students to study Chinese language and culture for 5 years at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Through her I learned that in Malaysia, "Da Bao" is also used to ask for takeout food. But a small advertisement for an internship opportunity on Idealist.org has led me to a truly remarkable organization.
I think that Ehomemakers is remarkable for the obvious reasons: the staff appear to be positive, hardworking, and passionate, the clients'/participants' stories are inspiring, and the mission of the company is more than admirable. But I think what is truly admirable about ehomemakers is how the founder, Chong Sheau Ching, is able to reach out beyond her immediate surroundings to individuals around the world. During my first phone interview with Sheau Ching, I was awed by her stories of interns from the US, the Netherlands, Korea, and more and I thought to myself "Wow, I hope I can make an impact just like they have when I go there."
I've recently had the opportunity (aka time away from reading Chinese academic articles) to watch the story of Pong and to read about Siew Lian and her work with Ehomemakers. Honestly, I pray that I can find and cultivate the strength over 2 years of graduate studies in China that these two seem to exude naturally in their everyday lives. Writing an analysis paper in Chinese is tough and impressive in itself from an American's standpoint, but living life to the fullest on a trolley is a true triumph of human endurance. By learning about these women, I also feel that I am learning more about myself and how to endure tough times and breakthrough life's lofty walls. I am looking forward to reading more about the 5 women of Portraits of Perseverance and sharing my insight and experiences with others throughout the learning process.