绝知此事要躬行—美国男孩的互惠心路历程Knowing is Doing – An American Boy’s Journey of Reciprocal Kindness
In the book of Genesis, in the Old Testament of the Bible, chapter 11 recounts the story of humanity uniting to build a tower reaching towards heaven. To thwart their plans, God made them speak different languages, rendering them unable to communicate with one another, and the project failed. This event provides an explanation for the diversity of languages and races in the world. Learning a language, in fact, bridges the gap between people, fosters cultural exchange, and serves as a pathway to explore the world. The cities of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Shanghai, China, seem worlds apart on the map, but because of an exchange student named Derek, they now feel much closer in reality.
Derek, a young American boy, has a deep passion for tea and Chinese martial arts, which seems to connect him mysteriously to Chinese culture. After applying for a reciprocal exchange program, he eagerly prepared to come to China. Before arriving in China, Derek was curious about everything, from Chinese customs to Chinese families. He often searched online for information, but not all of it was entirely accurate, and some of it even left him amused. Today, after coming to China, Derek’s love and interest in the country have grown significantly, proving the old adage that “knowing is doing.”
As Derek’s departure to China drew near, his excitement grew. “I can’t believe I’m about to go to China!” His elation is understandable, and the unique experiences he’ll have with his brave heart on this journey are something only he can fully appreciate. “The passenger next to me on the plane was Chinese, and we had such a great conversation.” On his flight to China, Derek happened to sit next to a Chinese passenger who was exceptionally friendly and courteous, making his journey even more enjoyable. If this is just a glimpse of the friendliness of the Chinese people, Derek’s post-arrival experiences in China have been filled with countless smiles, surprises, and warmth.
Upon arriving at his host family’s home in Shanghai, Derek seemed a bit nervous and lonely at first. However, the family’s meticulous care made him feel at home in this foreign land, and he quickly adapted to his new life. The affection from the children was a significant source of encouragement for this foreign “big brother.” Before long, Derek had bonded with the children, and he excitedly shared videos of their interactions with us. In these videos, the children conversed fluently with Derek in English, their sweet voices enchanting. They clung to him, playfully kissed his forehead, and Derek seemed deeply moved by these moments. He even made a video, exclaiming on Facebook, “I spent a long time making an amazing video! Check it out!” In this three-minute video, he enthusiastically documented the sights of Shanghai and traditional Chinese architecture. The comments from his loved ones back home on Facebook were a tremendous source of support, all expressing the same sentiment: pride and admiration.
Recently, Derek has started taking Chinese language classes and proudly boasts about his rapid progress. He has also made a group of lovely reciprocal exchange student friends. Derek tells us that every time he goes to school, the children reluctantly bid him farewell, and even when they go shopping, they always hold his hand. We are delighted to see the genuine and heartfelt bond forming between Derek and the children.
Derek’s reciprocal exchange experience has just begun, and everything is heading in a positive direction. The future holds promise, and what about yours?