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A Not-so-emotional farewell~

June 30, 2009

Ok… This is rather late of a post… Well it’s better late than never right? Erm, right?

Have been procrastinating on whether to do an entry on the Mentoring Farewell Party, something we all had high expectations of but ended rather horrible disappointing… Well, it’s still a memory… So here it goes…

For those who have actually read my old bloggie, or have walked closely with me in my walk of life would know that I was a mentor to a Maori girl who came from an erratic family background. After a whole year of ups and downs, the MATES program had came to an end and there was supposed to be a celebration for all mentors and mentees to meet together, catch up over games and barbeque, and later having an exchange of gifts and certificates. It sounded great, we thought it would be great, but sometimes we could be deceived by our over-expectations.

 

1 week before the ‘farewell party’, our Wednesday James Cook Group of the extension team had our last session, and our own celebration. Truthfully, it was way more meaningful and engaging compared to the overrated ‘Big Farewell Party’.

The mentors, Edward, Lorna and I came well-prepared with goodies and activities, and our kids came with enthusiasm… We kinda forgot to take pictures due to our ‘engagement’ in our activities… But here are some pictures we (Darlene and I) used for our scrapbook, to record memorable events that brought us closer =)

Ok… Forwarding time to 1 week later…

As usual, us from the city campus will have to arrive extremely early because we’re taking a ride with Ann, our lovely coordinator. To fill our time of boredom, we decided to fool around while capturing those moments through the lens of the camera…

Me trying to act ‘professional’… FAIL… wth

 

Edward giving us reindeer ears, Sze Wei doing the ‘horns’ sign, and Me going ‘cuckoo’ by doing the OK sign, rolling my eyes, and putting a pen on my ear… Which totally makes no sense… Lol…

 

Us eyeing at the pathetic food greedily…

The the session kick-started after long delays due to mentors’ late arrivals…(they had practicum and had to rush all the way to Manurewa which is like 40 minutes away from the city…)

And the horror began…

I have never seen a scene like this before… These kids, whom we were close to and gave good behavior and responses during their individual sessions, turned into beasts became so shocking when they were in a big group!

They fought over the food, pushed around, emptied plates of chips and snacks into their pockets, wrapped up samosas in servittes then stuffed them in their school bags… Even though many of us (as in the adults) had not been able to lie a finger on those food…

Basically, we just stood there and gasped in disbelief.

Then, the unbelievable happened. Darlene, my Darlene who had always been a sweetie, came to the food table, took the bowl of sauce (which was meant to be shared by all) and brought it back to a table of boisterous and rejoicing kids, while enjoying the attention she was given! That just shows how insane the impact of peer pressure can be T_T

As the session came to an end, we decided to take a few pictures before we leave… Then Sharmayne (my mentee for a day who’s a popular girl with a rather materialistic mindset, expecting me to buy her Mcdonald’s during sessions just because her previous mentor always buys her Mcdonald’s) came to me and asked me, "Can you give me your camera? You’re rich anyway."

WTH!!! Of course I said NO sternly but offered to take a few pictures for them and would later post to them via email… Haih… Kids nowadays…

Sze Wei and her mentee for 3 sessions, Saan
That’s Sharmayne and her previous mentor, Melissa, who brought along her 2nd child
 

Here’s some of the kids posing with their certificates

 

That’s the Nike backpacker I gave Darlene as her birthday present

 

And here’s Darlene and Sharmayne posing together.
The funny thing is, they have been in bad terms as Sharmayne would only look for Darlene if she wants food or money to buy food. But they seemed to bond and became ‘partners of crime’… swt

 

Lastly, we had a picture with Ann, someone who had been so commited to the program and never failed to encourage us through and through… A pure source of inspiration…

Just when we thought the day would at least end in a fine note, Darlene and Sharmayne came and asked Ann whether they could have the roses from her bouquet of flowers, given by lovely people to acknowledge her contributions!!!

Basically, throughout the whole day, the kids had been comparing the gifts they received from their mentors, and demanding for more…

It was such a huge shock for us, and we were so worried that our whole year of effort in helping these at-risk kids change would amount to nothing because of their culture, social environment, and mentality.

It was definitely saddening for us…

As Ann put it, we could only hope that they do receive and learn lessons from us through our living testimony, and the endless sacrifices and advices we have given them. We have to believe in them that they would break away from factors that could pull them back, and work towards their change for the better.

So, we shall just believe…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2009 10:03 pm

    Maybe you’d like to try putting half of this post under LJ-cut?
    😀

    • July 1, 2009 6:36 am

      Hmm… thanks for the heads up… i tried… but not sure whether it works or not… still trying to get around the functions as they are quite different from blogger… lol… Sifu, bear with your incompetent disciple yea.. hahaha

      • July 1, 2009 11:10 am

        No problemo. Take your time. I was like that too when I first got my LJ~

        After you’re done with writing, just highlight where you want to put under lj-cut, and click on the lj-cut icon. And then you can give the cut a flashy title XD

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