By now, all firstyears have returned from their China Week and are back on campus. The last two days were characterized by the loud noise of suitcases rolling down the campus road, screams of joy by re-united friends and overfilled laundry rooms in which you had to shove your ways through dozens of baskets just to reach the washing machine. The stories told are not yet detailed but sparkling of joy, happiness and awe. “It was amazing, simply amazing”, are often the first words, when you ask: “So, how was China Week?” The first arrivers were greeted warmheartedly, embraced by three people at once and showered with questions. The later ones had a very similar fate.
My buddy, who had been to Guanzhou as I last year, showed me – on my own pictures – which children still lived in the orphanage and told me how they had changed. “He grew up a lot, he’s much taller now and always all over the place … that kid was a little creepy, he followed me everywhere, but in the end we made good friends … and that boy is so intelligent!” Some children had apparently left the orphanage, probably to go working. His stories brought my own memories of my time in China back. Some pictures of the orphans still hang on my wall behind the desk; they watch me with their big brown, nearly black eyes out of dirty, bruised faces. I think, China Week was one of the main things that absolutely made my first year in LPC. It was a service experience I never had before and taught me a lot about life, hope and optimism. Their stories and the flicker in our firstyears’ eyes show me, that China Week is still as impressive, mind-blowing and possibly life-changing as it was for me last year.