The IWitness 2018 Thailand trip started today and the excitement of going on the trip with fantastic teammates had already started when l was at the airport. In all the events today, the most impressive one was having an introduction from Special Olympics and learning basic skills for interacting with the Young Athletes. Treating people from different abilities with respect would be key.
On the second day, we visited Samut Sakhorn Centre in the morning where l met with Mix, a lovely Young Athlete, and heard a brave story from her mother. Mix and l played hide-and-seek, and she held my hands to follow single line walking. I deeply felt that she has a good school life, where her confidence showed with smiles on her face, as well as the enjoyment of being here with her mother.
This was a fourth day of journey. I met Dano and his grandmother in our second home visit. At the beginning, Dano sat on chair and listened his grandmother speaking. He showed his self-discipline and knew how to respect others. I heard a beautiful story from him and saw the impressive work of the Special Olympics coaches. They have built tools so Dano can train and develop his muscles in his home and have also taught him appropriate social skills in community. He took us to the mini-store to buy a drink, as well as actively said “Hello”, and interacted with his neighbours.
Even though our home visit did not last long, we learned encouragement from Dano’s achievement from his consistent Young Athletes lessons at home and at school. Our smiles and thumbs-up were no different in our picture.
This was the last day of the journey. Actually, l felt grateful and thanked all the members of the trip. After sharing refreshments , I recognised that by taking a simple approach, Special Olympics helps the children to build up their confidence step-by-step. Even though the Young Athletes may have a long journey, I believe they will finally reach their dreams. Life is cheerful.