Team Taichung Goes Back to School

Our SCC Team Taichung has been home for a week now, and it almost seems like a dream as we’ve quickly “re-entered” the routine of our normal lives at work and at home. We’ve talked since our return about our amazing Smarter Cities Challenge experience… the fabulous people of Taiwan, wonderful history and culture, delectable food, and the remarkable partnership with the City of Taichung. We are grateful to our IBM Taiwan colleagues for all of their support, and for their continued work with the City of Taichung as SCC Team Taichung goes back to our “day jobs”…

As much as we enjoyed everything I outlined above, one of the highlights for all of us was a very special visit to Toujia Elementary School in Taichung for a volunteer opportunity. We thoroughly enjoyed this bright group of students who entertained us with their award-winning “English singing” performance (like a mini-musical) and a solo by jazz drummer David, after which we led them in Halloween games and served them lunch. It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours between business briefings!

SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Group on Stage SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Kids ArmsUp SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_David Drums

Toujia is an impressive school with an atmosphere that clearly fosters learning on many levels. They are particularly proud of their arts and swimming programs, and their students are bright, polite and attentive. We hosted Halloween games for 60 students, rotating groups of 10 through our 6 games – very fun! We then had the chance to speak with the Principal over a brief cup of tea, and he presented each of us a small paper owl (a special symbol for this area) made by the students.

Lunch is served for students in their classrooms and everyone has the same food. On this day, it was a nutritious selection of chicken, a vegetable and another side dish, along with rice and soup. Each of us donned an apron, hat and mask to serve one of the 6th grade classrooms, assisting three students. In Armando’s class, they surprised him by presenting him a local dessert of “dried longan” as well.

SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Bec Serves LunchSCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Classroom SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Armando Dessert

The day reminded me very much of my volunteerism at home with the Noon Optimist Club of Western Des Moines, through our mentoring and service projects with local schools. Several of my SCC colleagues are also active volunteers in their local communities, with a heart for helping kids. As a result, this was such a special day for us!

Before we left Taichung, we were deeply touched to receive a gift from Toujia School with a set of books created by and about their school. What a wonderful way to remember our experience! The students of this special school will forever hold a place in our hearts, as will all the wonderful people we met in Taichung. Thanks for the memories…

SCC Team Taichung@Toujia_Gift Books SCC Team Taichung@Toujia School_Collage+Intros

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