This is mostly a copy of my service journal for this month - I never recorded our Romeo and Juliet experience here, so I thought I'd do that now.
This will be my last month writing this, as I’ve already finished my 15 hours of service (although I plan on going to the YMCA a few more times in December, because we still have the end of semester presentation with our kids).
The YMCA has been the same as always – our kids are crazy, and it’s hard to keep them occupied for ten minutes in between games. I feel like they’ve enjoyed the semester, though, and they have learned a few English words here and there. It’s also hard when they’re at such different levels. Kevin requires individual attention to learn even three words, when Helen has learned the entire lesson in the same amount of time, and the other three are in the middle. I hope my kids aren’t belligerent or hard to discipline, because otherwise I’ll need a lot more patience than I have now. It’s been a good experience, though.
Most of my service hours this month weren’t at the YMCA, however, they were spent preparing and putting on Romeo and Juliet! Seth had the idea for all the single Flagship guys to perform Romeo and Juliet for 光棍节, or Singles Awareness Day, November 11, 2011, because it was 11/11/11. We started at 10 am, so we were still performing at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11! I was the Nurse and Paris, both of which were fun, but the Nurse especially, because I got to declaim in falsetto and got lots of attention from the crowd. Ben was Juliet, and Chandler was Romeo – a more hilarious and apropos combination could not be had! We performed in the fountain by the campus cafeteria, and there was a crowd of about 50 to 100 people that came and went.
Now as to why this was service: Seth’s roommate had the idea to use the publicity to raise money for someone in need, so we collected money and donated it to a family. The wife has cancer, and they don’t have enough money to cover her chemotherapy treatments, even with government aid and her husband’s income. After the play, several of us went with some reporters to their apartment and gave the husband the envelope with money in it. It was a very emotional moment all around, and he thanked us repeatedly with tears streaming down his face. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to bless his family through our service, and things like this remind me how much joy service can bring to us and to those we serve.
We got on TV and Seth was interviewed by reporters, so in the end I think even more money was donated to this family. There were also several articles in the local papers, which we'll be including in the Flagship Times. I bought Ben a wig and a mask, and one of the Chinese guys watching thought he was a 美女 (pretty girl)! Awesome.