2019 SESP Shanxi Reflection–Max Wang


By: Max Wang 王岳阳

These two weeks have been absolutely extraordinary.

I’ve made friends. I have made memories. And I have made unbreakable ties to a very special place.

Let’s start with friends.

Throughout the duration of the camp, we were inseparable: the days of teaching meant constantly relying on each other for technical (and emotional) support; the evenings of football, basketball and biking trips to the market; and the nights of card games, riddles and Werewolf. The laughing, jostling and intense collaboration that occurred forged some of the tightest bonds I have ever experienced.

The memories, now.

Writing about the myriad of experiences deeply and vividly imprinted in the often cloudy and torn fabric of memory brings my heart to my throat, because every time I think about those times, every time I look around and see everyone’s faces, bent with smiles and laughter, I wish I could relive them again and experience it all one more time.

The paint wars, the shower trips, the meals, the students, the farewell hugs and the ‘see-you-soon’s. All of these have made a profound impact on me and I hope I never forget.

山西 has made me laugh and cry in tandem and after living there for two weeks, I feel immensely sad to see it disappear behind the horizon.

The students, all of them, are precious to me, as I have acted as teacher to them, watching them play and learn. Their boundless energy and carefree thought is a refreshing break from the world of responsibility that I have already stepped one foot into.

My interactions with the locals have also been profound. 王老师has been kind and hospitable beyond compare and all the real teachers and villagers treated us as if we were some of their own.

Overall, I believe that, if I don’t come back next year, I must come back once more sometime.

To everyone in SESP 2019

Thanks for always smiling.

Thanks for never giving up.

And most of all, thanks for dealing with my crap and sometimes even laughing along.