When I went to the Old Folks Home, I noticed that they had a small community within the place. There were lots of people who were working there who were taking care of the old folks in the home. The old people seemed to be happy when they saw us arrive there. Maybe they don’t get visitors to visit them often. I actually expected that the old people staying in the home would be bed-ridden. Well, maybe most of them. But as we arrived there, most of them can still walk and sociable. I also did not expect that the old folks there would be very old. There’s an old folk who is a hundred plus years old. I also thought that the place would be boring, gloomy, and the old people there would be so quiet, but they were not so bad when you get to talk to them. There were expectations that were correct. Like when you talk to the old people there, they would tell us stories of their life and their families.
Volunteering to this project changed a lot of perspectives in my life. I have learned a lot of lessons when my class and I went to the home. The old folks told me their stories and I see how lucky we are today. In school, they don’t have any fast ways to get information. They needed to go to the library to find stuff. But now, we have the internet and we can quickly search for something if we need. Also, in their time, there were wars and conflicts. They had to run and hide from the foreign invaders. Now, the country is free from them and we can have fun during our childhood.
There are things which were very challenging to me during the project. There were old folks who were not that good in speaking in English and Filipino. They usually know Fuk Yuen. But I’m a foreigner to that language. So, what I did, I paired up with a classmate of mine who knows how to speak Fuk Yuen so whenever they talk to us, he would translate what they say for me. There were other instances in which we had nothing to talk about. What I did, I tried to make the conversation in going by asking questions about his life.
One of the things I have learned is that I’m not the only person in the world. The world does not revolve around me. There are lots of problems in the world and I should know about that. I also learned that we should choose the right thing to do because it will benefit us in the future. We should focus on our studies and believe in which religion you believe in. What I believe is in God. I would ask guidance from Him to help me throughout my life and in return is my faith and love for Him, also the building of the Kingdom of God. If there should be any changes for the SOP, there should be more things to do than just talk. Just like more games and more eating together. This would make us better people spiritually and physically because we do things we the community.
The SOP is an experience of the Holy Eucharist as a presence because we are present with the old folks and they are present with us. We guide each other for our future with our presence. We act as we are Christ and they too. Which makes Christ more present within us and within the community. It is a thanksgiving because as we eat with them and do other activities, I felt how much they’re thankful that we were there. I also felt very thankful we had the opportunity to go there and experience what Christ experienced during His life. To love and serve others.