Last summer, I was on the hunt for an old folk’s home to collaborate and initiate a community service group with at school. Though it turned out that finding a suitable home was harder than I’d anticipated, the hours of research and unsuccessful appointments finally paid off with our visit to one old folk’s home last month.
It was late morning when my friend and I visited the home, which was a reasonable drive from school. One of the caretakers took us on a tour around the three small buildings that hosted roughly 100 elderly women. We walked past the kitchens, the visiting room and the elderly women’s rooms as my wonderful friend translated for me and conversed with the caretaker in Vietnamese.
The place itself was lovely, but I couldn’t help but feel there was something in the air about.
There were caretakers, patiently feeding soup to the paralyzed and aided by some of the more able-bodied elderly. There were old women, multitasking as they munched, chatted and packed cotton buds with nimble fingers. There was even one old lady I was able to practice my French with! Everyone was unexpectedly warm and friendly.
Whether blind, with walking difficulties, fully/partially paralyzed or whatever else, the elderly women were quick to offer us their welcoming smiles. They were charming, to say the least, and actually reminded me of my grandmother.
Time flew quickly, but the charisma had taken its effect. The visit made my day, leaving me eager for the next one and more excited than ever to get my project off of the ground. We dropped by for the second time last week to confirm some things with them and it’s amazing to see my project finally materializing. I honestly don’t know what I would name this community service group though. Any ideas?