My name is Cai Wenhui known in America as Sira. I am a student at Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages in China. With the greatest fears about the language barrier and culture shock, I lived in America for four weeks. Definitely, it is so hard to make it without anyone I know there to hold my hands at the beginning. My sense of helplessness suffices to crush most of the passion. I have to admit that I was disappointed about the deserted street, the relationship between my first host family and me and so on. I felt myself out of place, struggling in how to open up and express myself clearly.
However, I got a big hug when I first meet my boss, Eva. She appeared with her passion and warmth when I was stuck in confusion. She introduced the workplace, the project they did in the summer vacation and so on. I told myself that though my present situation is scary but I have to face up and can’t just run to the past because it’s familiar. The reason I decided to go here was to change my cowardice.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I took the initiative to release the goodwill with my great courage.
Although I was wordless as before in the first week, I gradually opened my heart to accept all the unfamiliar things under the warmth from Asperger Works. Every morning and evening’s greeting and concern, every laugh for anything, tasting cate, visiting the coast, taking a lot of photos, sharing all the interesting news let allowed me to nearly forget my fears. We participated in two community fairs in Lawrence at the Campagnone Common in order to make more people know what the real Asperger’s is. I guess just because of love and warmth, Asperger Works could be established and be well known in Lawrence. The first one was fun with other girls from China. But the second one, we all got sick from the heat.
To be honest, I was very homesick in those days. I missed my family, best friends and my home. I missed the feeling of being loved that always surrounding me before. But when I was thousands of miles away from home, I felt lonelier than ever before.
Certainly, I am still so grateful for this so wonderful experience. Being a volunteer in Asperger Work is totally different than any experience what I have. Not many people have the chance of being an international volunteer, and I feel so lucky to be one of them. The things I have done built up my confidence, broadened my horizon. I would not go back and change my decision.
Anyway, been there, done that. Thanks for enough braveness.