My recent weeks at NikoToma have gone more smoothly than the weeks preceding them I think. Perhaps that can be attributed to me getting over the initial disappointment I harbored about not being able to play with children. I was under the impression that we [the volunteers] would be doing activities with children every week, but I quickly learned that wasn’t the case. However, as one of my teachers commented, it is volunteer work after all, and more often than not, volunteers have to do rather less-than-pleasant tasks, so「仕方がない」. If we did not do those small, tedious tasks—using toothpicks to pick up microscopic cutouts of animals and painstakingly glue them to bite-sized paper handbags; making sure to find a “balance” when arranging goody bags, lest the aesthetics of the candy be ruined, even though the kids are just going rip it open in crazed excitement —who would?
At this point, I know it seems like I’m actually belittling the program with sarcasm, but I’m not. I’ve grown to genuinely appreciate (if not enjoy) the things we do at NikoToma, whatever they may be, because I know we are providing the volunteer group with help that it needs. Besides that, it just so happens that all of (or almost all of) the students in KCJS from Boston University participate in this CIP, and this has instilled a certain amount of pride in me about being a part of it. And that’s enough to make me happy about going.