The Guangdong Challenge Week focused on the elements of Creativity and Service – and it was an inspiring and motivating trip that developed all of us into caring communicators, reflective risk-takers, and open-minded thinkers.

One main challenge was teaching English and holding activities for different classes of children at two primary schools. Some were noisy but enthusiastic and it was difficult calming them down. Others were noisy and unwilling to learn and so we had to develop better relationships with them. After a morning of classes, we brought joy and laughter to the children, and it was truly moving when the teachers witnessed the moment. We hope we inspired them to create a more enthusiastic and positive learning environment for the children. Although we had prepared flashcards and English songs, the children ranged from Year 3 to Year 6 and several classes could not use the prepared materials. Creativity came to play here as we had to adjust to different learning abilities. For each class we thought of different solutions like playing Pictionary and teaching them new words they wanted to know. Our creativity helped us solve problems and lead to a successful service experience.

Another main event was the performance evening with the Liannan High School. We prepared performances like singing, dancing and magic shows long before Challenge Week. One main challenge was that last-minute requests were given and we needed to immediately design new plans and activities. For one, their principal wanted us to promote English learning so as a team, we prepared an interactive game of Taboo with adapted instructions and power-point slides within a very short space of time.

Through this we realized the true meaning of Creativity and Service. Creativity doesn’t come only from art and music, but as a part of everyday life in problem solving, being flexible and adapting to changes. Things do not always go as expected, and Creativity allows us to think outside the box, to take risks and think of alternative solutions. Most of us think of service as a one-sided materialistic interaction of donating money and supplies. This Challenge Week showed us another form of Service – that Service can be mutual – sharing emotions and experiences.

May Chan (11B)