What we did – join up with an organization focusing on assisting old-age assistance. the philosophy of the organization was that the old-age deserve to be treated in a dignified way, following this principle, the workers would conduct health-tests and meet with the elderly in their house, given they feel more comfortable in their house. we got to visit the houses of many elderly Taichung residents.
What I felt – going to people’s house was extremely intimate and gave me insight into the ways of life of people in Taichung. given that we were working with the elderly who lacked sufficient economic resources to take care of themselves, a lot of times we saw ourselves in houses which are considerably different to our own. given that I didn’t speak Chinese, i missed a lot of what they were saying (my friend would occasionally translate) this gave me a lot of time to process what I heard. more often than not, this was very painful to hear.
What I learned– people live extremely different lives. in a different country, yes, but as we grow old, we have to modify our way of life. It was particularly hard to imagine myself in the situation, but it’s an obvious reality that one day we will all grow old. I also learned about how hard it is to connect where there is a lingual barrier. This pushes me to further and hone my language speaking skills for I might find myself in a similar situation where I meet people with stories I wish I could hear in full.