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Thank you for your help, everyone!
The idea of giving back has always been the motto in my life, because I truly believe that we are here for one and only reason: to spread the love around the world.To better serve this role, I have been deeply involved in volunteering with my church. I joined a group called the “XXX” seven years ago, and for the first five years as a member, and the next two years as a leader, I have been putting my heart into it. During the annual XXX weekends, unmarried young adults would get together and talk about their search for self, their hardships, and burden of unforgiveness towards their close ones, especially their parents. Our role as volunteers is to talk about our own hurtful memories up front, so the participants could open up their hearts with relative ease; it pained me whenever I heard about their scars and remorse. In spite of all these, God has been working through us so faithfully that wecan be free from what had been holding them back. A lot of participants who used to hate their parents would end up with telling them “I love you” in full of tears on the last day. These seemingly improbable transformations in the course of the three days have never failed to overwhelm me with joy, love and awe.I have been actively involved in several musical activities; I have played the piano for as long as I could remember, and learned the violin since I was the fourth grader. Music has always been the best way for me to relax and recharge my energy. Although it has been extremely rewarding experience to strive for personal excellence until I could complete my grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music examination, playing the first violin in the New Westminster Symphony as well as conducting my church chamber brought me different sense of rewards. Moreover, I was able to develop interpersonal skills as well as leadership skills.
My love of travel and desire to expand my scope led me to backpack around the Eastern Europe for one and a half months during the summer 2007. Not wanting to restrict my experience within some famous sights and budget hostels, I joined the organization called “Couchsurfing.com” where willing locals provide their personal information as well as their ‘couch availabilities’, so you could pre-arrange your stay in their places. Couch-surfing turned out to be one of the most meaningful experiences during my solo backpacking trip, because it enabled me to gain such authentic cultural experiences with chances to meet warm-hearted, open-minded people across five different countries. It required a lot of organization skills and extensive preparations before departure, but looking back, I even learned a great deal through the process of preparation, and it was a truly memorable experience that I will never be able to repeat.
My second destination was Nicaragua. It was the perfect place for me because I had always wanted to volunteer in developing countries and because I was eager to meet my four-year-old sponsor child. Again, despite the warnings in some guide books, I planned and organized the entire trip thinking it should not be so much different from my previous trip. I was na´ve. Unlike the European countries with the convenient, foreigner-friendly public transportation systems, it was nearly impossible to get to where I wanted without getting lost or ripped off by a taxi driver. In less than three days, my legs were covered with mosquito bites, and I did not even bother to spray the insect repellent by that time.Now, even budget backpacking started to look like a luxury. During my stay with an NGO called ‘XXX' in La Prusia, one of the poorest slum areas of Granada, Nicaragua, my job was to help building schools and houses as well as teaching the children English, but I also had a chance to a see a lot of indigenous people suffering from poor dental health. A doctor and a nurse provided free diagnosis once a week, but there was hardly any dentist available. Without professional trainings, all I could do was to sympathize with their pains, and that was when I determined to dedicate my skills to help the less fortunate and to provide them with proper oral health education to prevent oral diseases.
My journey so far has been quite exciting, full of lessons, and extremely goal-oriented. Just like a marathon that I happened to fall in love with, life is full of uphill battles and downhill breeze, and it is the process, not the moment of reaching the goal that makes you wiser. It is every moment when you push yourself beyond the limit that you become extraordinary. On my way here, I have become moreunderstanding and passionate about dentistry, and feel absolutely ready to devote myself to the terrific field that will open up endless possibilities. Now, I am approaching the last few miles of this long race, looking forward to the excitement awaiting me; I will be exalted not because I have finished the run and eventually made it to a dental school, but because I praised God and thanked Him every step of the way, whether I flew passed other runners or stumbled, and because it has prepared me to run my next marathon.