Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Braving the Cold in Hainan, China

A sudden drop in temperature to below 10 degrees Celsius in Hainan sent two groups of students and their lecturers scrambling for warm clothing.

“We had expected similar weather to Singapore’s, so we were not prepared for the sudden drop in temperature. The first thing we did was to buy warm clothing,” recalled School of Information Technology lecturer Dr Alan Ang.

Dr Ang was leading a group of NYP students on an Overseas Community Service project in Hainan, China last March together with School of Interactive & Digital Media (SIDM)Lecturer Wendy Tan.

Another group of students were led by SIDM lecturer Clyda Puah and School of Engineering (Manufacturing)lecturer Charlie Tan.

Preparation for the 17-day trip took about six months. It included recruitment, first aid training, as well as bonding sessions to foster team spirit and camaraderie among the student volunteers.

During the trip, the main tasks of the two groups were: the teaching English and Arts & Crafts at a primary school, the painting of the school, as well as painting an old folks home.

The dreary and cold weather in Hainan proved a challenge but the team persevered to complete the tasks.

“We wanted to paint 12 rooms in the three-storey school building but due to the weather, the paint took a longer time to dry. Furthermore, our movements were slower due to the cold weather. Nevertheless, we did our best. The students divided themselves into three groups: the ‘sander’, ‘painter’ and ‘lacquer’ groups. This
specialisation helped us to complete the task more efficiently, without compromising quality. The sense of achievement when all tasks were completed was our greatest fulfilment,” said Dr Ang.

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