Notes: An ordinary man’s confession by Lin Yi-Hsuan
I lost my temper few days ago while I was teaching the children, I threw the exercise book on the floor, turned to my back and left. I walked to a grocery store, bought myself a bottle of soft drink and sat by the road contemplating.
Why got so angry, why made such an effort, is this really helpful to the children?
I had explained word by word, the little girl turned away, didn’t even look at me. I changed my position so that I was facing her, I repeated myself again word by word, this time she turned to the other side. I felt anxious, other kids kept calling my name, they were doodling on their books and playing with their rubbers. Every time when some other adults walked past the table they came and flip through the books and talked to the kids. Every afternoon is like an absurd play on stage.
I once thought while showering the kids, what kind of people will they become years later, how will their lives be?
I volunteered to be here in order to experience something new and different, I once felt proud with esteem as a volunteer, all the other foreign friends that I met and became acquainted in Honduras also came here to volunteer for various reasons through different routes, I was happy to be part of the voluntary team, to say that I am a volunteer and I am from Taiwan.
I once thought what I am doing is significant and that I am living a distinctive life than other people. But I know very well the initial reason why I became a volunteer, I wanted to be an artist who has an extraordinary vision, I didn’t want to play my own games in my own castle, therefore I decided to be a volunteer, I saw it as my first step for getting to know the outside world.
However, I was just an ordinary person. I realized that I was only doing this for myself, it was only to satisfy my own ego. I once dreamt about doing something and now being here in front of them there is nothing I can do, I can’t help to improve all the water facilities, I can’t help to plant and grow crops to make their living any better, I can’t cure all the illness and diseases. When encountering these frustrations in reality and day-to-day situations I was often confused and puzzled. Seeing the serious gap between the rich and the poor I was often in tears, the rich dressed up glamorously shopping in the malls with their precious children while the poor sit under the trees daydreaming because they cannot afford food in the restaurant, and coming here for my own benefits I felt extremely ashamed, I was really just an ordinary person.
Gradually I was filled with heavy and overwhelming emotions, like how those blocked ditches flooded over the roads after heavy rains, it is not so obvious on the surface, even though water has already flooded over all the houses and trees, slowly taking over the whole city. The blinding sun above my head forced everyone into the shades. The water on the soft drink I had in my hand had also started dripping, every sip I took tasted sandy and earthy. I turned around and walked back, the little girl was gone and the exercise book was left on the table.