Eden's "挑戰新視界" - Dragon Boat Festival

 

Translated by 徐謙德

 

 

In addition to eating traditional Chinese rice dumpling, the Dragon Boat Race is a major celebration that cannot be missed during the Dragon Boat Festival. The Eden Foundation has provided opportunities for visually-impaired friends to experience more diverse outdoor activities and enrich personal life experiences, promoted “challenge new vision” outdoor experience activities in 2015. The New Horizons Outdoor Experience event hosted a visually-impaired friend’s enthusiastic response to the Yilan rafting event last year. It recruited 16 visually-impaired friends and 12 TMAN Irons volunteers to participate in the 2018 Taipei International Dragon Boat Championships this year. It seems like more than 200 teams participated in the event, but only one visually impaired team.A group of people sat on the dragon boat and ready to fire. Under the leadership of the captain, the “Eden visually impaired the XTMAN Iron Man Dragon Boat Team” after sitting on the dragon boat and struggling to move forward without losing their momentum. Although the speed was not fast, the uniform action had become a bright star on the river.

Among the 16 visually impaired teammates, there were 10 players participating in this year's competition. From the youngest 23 years old to the oldest 67 years old, everyone was prepared to make preparations for the competition. Under the hot sun, efforts were being made to overcome psychological and physical barriers. He had devoted himself to every practice and cultivated mutual trust and understanding in the exercises. Among them, Chang, Yun-Cheng, who has lived abroad for many years and returned to take care of his elderly father, participated in the dragon boat race for the first time. He was very excited. Not only he hadn't missed every practice, but physical strength and endurance had not lost young people. The positive and enthusiastic attitude has made teammates also full of fighting spirit and self-confidence.

 

 

Chang, Yun-Cheng, sixty-three years old, studied in the United States when he was young and worked in California after graduation. He stayed in California for more than 30 years. Taiwan is as strange as a city he has never been to before. It seems like a smooth and beautiful life in the United States, but because of hereditary glaucoma, his eyesight began to be affected. In order to not delay work, he decided to undergo surgical treatment in his 50s. He did not expect the failure of surgery, not only taking away his Horizons but also take away the cause of the sky and the life that goes with it. After his mother passed away, his unfamiliar father suffered a lot of weakness after having a sick illness. For this reason, Chang, Yun-Cheng resolutely put down the comfortable life that took five or six years to rebuild, then returned to a strange hometown, Taiwan, to take the responsibility of taking care his father.

Mr. Chang said frankly that when he arrived in Taiwan, everything caused unfamiliarly, he didn’t dare to go out and always stayed at home. However, his father felt it was not a way, keeping encouraged him to try to go out and be familiar with the environment. Compared to vast California, he is finding that Taiwan's concentration and convenience are so beneficially. The most beautiful scenery in Taiwan - the friendliness of the people to the weak friends, gives him the courage to explore and begins to expand his new vision.Mr. Chang said that he does not have a pipeline to seek related visually impaired service units abroad. Although his life is relatively stable, he is relatively closed. However, in Taiwan, service information is easily accessible, allowing him to adapt quickly to life, In addition, the courses and activities planned by Eden for visually impaired friends are quite diverse and rich and interesting. He feels full and interesting every day. Originally he was worried about dragging his teammates because of his physical relationship when he participated in the competition this time. However, coaches and volunteers continue to encourage themselves and finally have the opportunity to complete the first dragon boat race in life. Although the speed is really unpleasant, he had got really an accomplishment!

 

 

In this match, Eden also expressed special thanks to Ironman Tman volunteers and Coach Xiaoming Wang for their unrequited assistance. The coaches who have spent more than 10 years in the dragon boat sport but it was the first time to train for the visually-impaired friends. The coach said that people with discerning eyes can use their eyes to learn the motions, but visually impaired friends can only learn by listening. Therefore, during the teaching process, he should describe more accurately for each instruction, such as the direction of the clock or lifting. The explicit instructions such as the height of the nose and tip of the nose ensured that the cooperation of visually impaired friends was indeed in place. In addition, drums and paddles were used to touch the sound of the hull, so that visually impaired friends could know each other's movements of the team. He laughed and said that although the speed of taxiing was not fast, the whole group actions were the most beautiful and neat!

Chou, Yu-Ling, the social worker leader of the Eden Foundation’s Center for Visually Impaired Rehabilitation, said that the Eden Vision Redevelopment Center has actively organized various outdoor experience activities through the “Challenge New Vision” project. She hoped that visually-impaired friends could participate in activities together with their peers and bravely take the first step in life reconstruction.  The dragon boat race this year was actually more challenging than the past. In addition to the considerations of safety, stamina, and endurance, there must be a positive degree of cooperation in order to develop a tacit understanding with other teammates and work together to complete the competition. Although the competitors were all eye-catching, the fighting spirit and enthusiasm of the visually impaired friends must let the public see that the visually impaired friends can do more than they think!

 

The Eden Foundation promotes the visually-impaired friends to go out and organizes a variety of diverse experiences and sharing of life information. Welcome to the Facebook Fans Club of “Eden Visual Reconstructing Center” to keep collecting with the new events and information; If you have any service requirements, you can directly call the Eden Vision Center Consultant Center at (02) 2577-5689.