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It's Payback Time PDF Print E-mail
by Reiko Mori

Cheering Others Cheers Us Too!
"I regret not volunteering earlier. I could have many experiences during a short time and I learned many things."
At first I had many troubles while living in Canada. This year is the heaviest of my life but I'm enjoying my life now because many people helped me. I thank them for that. I have been here for nine months. I didn't work. My English didn't improve fast enough so I worried about that. At that time my teacher Brian recommended volunteering to me. He said volunteering is good for my English and a good experience so I went to Volunteer Vancouver.

When I went there the first time I made an appointment for the next week. I had to fill out an application. I went there again the next week. I met one of the staff members. She explained about volunteering. Also she searched for many volunteer positions by computer. After that I received some information from her.

I picked one of the senior centers. It is downtown so it's near my apartment. I called there. They told me there's an orientation every Wednesday. Of course I joined it. When I went there I met an Iranian woman. She also joined it. One staff member showed us around the senior center. Actually I had never been to a senior center until that time. I was shocked by that. I saw many seniors. One person didn't wear pants. She wore a shirt and a diaper. Other people followed us. I guess they are always lonely. So I was surprised about that and I was reminded of my grandmother. My grandmother died of cancer last October. They looked similar to her at that time. She couldn't speak but sometimes she smiled like a child. I thought I would help them because I couldn't do anything for my grandmother.

At the volunteer center I help out with bowling and tea serving. Bowling time is very fun. It's played with about 15 people. There are some funny seniors. One old man said to me, "Call me Tiger." Another senior always smiled. One old woman wanted to introduce her grandson to the volunteer staff. Actually she asked me, " Give me your picture." So she thought her grandson's girlfriend is me. There is another old woman who can sing some Japanese songs. I understood the song but I didn't know it. I guess it was an old song. I was surprised by that.

When someone got a strike they were cheering and then they were more excited and serious. When I saw that I was glad and I felt happy. I don't know why. I wonder why when they enjoyed it I became happy too.

I regret not volunteering earlier. I could have many experiences during a short time and I learned many things. Sometimes I troubled some seniors but everything was okay. I'll volunteer until April 1st. I'll do my best. Many people helped me when I first came to Vancouver. Now, I think, it's payback time.

Vancouver Volunteer Centre
#301 - 3102 Main Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
V5T 3G7
telephone: (604) 875-9144
fax. (604) 875-0710

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Volunteer Vancouver





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