For all the time, money and preparation that was put into the four weeks of camp this summer, one thing is clear: we could not have done it without our translators. Language barriers make it difficult enough to visit a foreign country, let alone try to bond with a child you have never met.
I have found that some language is universal: hand gestures, tickling, smiles, laughs. Even games such as rock-paper-scissors, duck duck goose, and go fish span cultures. But specific communication is impossible without translation.
And for that, we want to say a special thank you to the translators who have volunteered their time to be with us. Many have come as much as 12 hours by train to join us in Beijing. They are a vital part of the team and we are grateful for their support.
Editor’s note: Indeed, the translators make the summer camp possible. They spend more time with the orphans than the American volunteers—up to 16 hours a day, seeing to it that the kids eat, shower, sleep, behave and have a good time. We have witnessed the love that our Chinese translators have for the children, the intelligence they possess and the dedication that, frankly, inspires us to work harder and love more deeply. Thank you, translators, for your tireless work and friendship. We love you all.
— Patti Diaz