Taichung experience trip
"As the YMCA’s ‘Coolest Family’, my family of four visited Taichung for an amazing four-day, three-night experience trip. Usually when you travel, it’s all about shopping, dining and sightseeing; but our trip was full of fun and meaningful experiences. Our trip may have been short, but we were able to visit and enjoy the Nantou YMCA’s different service centres. We discovered more about their local programmes for the elderly, the mentally handicapped, women and toddlers, and learned about their education programmes. Taking part in the Nantou YMCA’s elderly and disabled volunteer services meant a great deal to us. For example, to us, making rice balls is a pretty easy task, but for elderly people, this is not an easy task at all! We needed to be patient and show them how to do it. Most of the elderly people at the activity spoke a Taiwanese dialect, meaning they didn’t really understand what we said. However, our smiles and the way we showed them how we cared about the elderly allowed them to feel our love. We also learned a lot during the disabled volunteer activity. Everyone got excited when we made a three-dimensional Christmas tree together. This made us realise how simple blessings in this world can be: we must treasure the fortune that is an ordinary life. As "The Coolest Family", we were very privileged; we were able to see that the YMCA is a truly global social service organisation by participating in services at the Nantou YMCA and Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong. Although both organisations serve different targets in different areas, we saw how both associations serve the underprivileged in their respective communities with a humble heart.
Another activity we got to experience as the YMCA’s "Coolest Family" was a two-day, one-night camp at Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village, one of the largest campsites in Asia. The campsite provides an indoor and outdoor activities area offering an amazing diversity of activities, including a ropes course, archery range, grassy soccer field, basketball court, badminton court, mini-soccer field, children’s playground, swimming pool, barbeque area, recreation room, electronic games centre and more! The four of us took part in many recreational activities during our time at the camp, including playing ping pong, archery, taking a ropes course and others. Under the guidance of an instructor, we learned how to pitch a tent, set up a campfire and even cook outdoors in a grassy area! We are now planning to get together with our friends to use the different facilities at the Association’s other two campsites: the Lions-YMCA Junk Bay Youth Camp and Y's Men-YMCA Wong Yi Chau Youth Camp.
"The Coolest Family" Hotel food and beverage experience
One night, the four of us visited the award-winning restaurant at the Association’s Cityview hotel to enjoy the highly-popular seafood buffet. After dinner, we were all in agreement about how good the food was. The buffet offered a great variety of choices, and satisfied our different appetites. The types of food offered included unlimited live oysters (shipped by air), King crab legs, Japanese sashimi, hot dishes, all kinds of desserts and even Mövenpick ice cream! We literally could not stop eating this mouth-watering food. The fresh seafood, lobsters and delicate desserts were our favourites. What a treat! Free and unlimited refills of red wine, white wine, beer and juices were also on offer. Apart from the Cityview hotel on Waterloo road, the Harbourview hotel, located in Wan Chai, is also operated by the YMCA. We will definitely be going back to a YMCA hotel to experience their high-quality food and beverage service very soon!
The core aim of taking part in the YMCA’s "The Coolest Family" competition was to serve the community together as a family. We recently visited the Association’s Shek Kip Mei Centre, one of the YMCA’s children and youth integrated service centres, to act as volunteers. At the centre, we played games, guessed riddles and chatted with a group of children. We enjoyed the day very much, as we got to meet people of different ages and people from different areas of society during our service. As parents, we rediscovered how important it is to spend time interacting with our children and talking about our feelings – this is what helps to build a good parent-child relationship.