If you ever took Wuhan metro at Xunlimen Station on February 25th, 2015, you might have been attracted by a special group of foreign volunteers in red hats and jackets. Speaking fluent Chinese, this group of volunteers from 10 different countries, Malaysia, Jordan, Morocco and others, were offering great help by pointing directions to passengers. Their passion and dedication lit up the whole railway station in this cold weather. Lucas Sena Zuza, a Brazilian student from Science beyond Boarders Program, currently studying in Huazhong University of Science and Technology was one of them.
Lucas in the middle. Photo provided by Wuhan Morning News
The Boy Next Door
Because of Science beyond Boarders Program, Lucas Sena Zuza came to Wuhan, China, to study in 2012, and he is majoring in Computer Science and Technology in our university. Although he has studied Chinese language for only less than 2 years, his fluent Chinese enables him to communicate easily with his Chinese friends.
With a shy and sincere smile on his face, and brimming with vigor and vitality of his body, Lucas can easily impress you with his earnest, modesty, and energy. The first time you meet him, you will be attracted by his friendliness and genuineness，and cannot wait to make friends with him. As a matter of fact, Lucas, the easy-going boy next door, has acquired long-term friendship since the first day he came to China. Some of them were met during travels, and some of them were acquainted by means of social networks who share the same hobbies with him. Lucas’s life in China has been greatly enriched by making friends and he constantly got invited to explore the vastness and beautiful scenic spots of China with his Chinese friends, during which his oral Chinese has been greatly enhanced.
A Dedicated and Enthusiast Volunteer
Despite his busy schedules, Lucas manages to find a perfect balance between studies and after-class activities, and he can always squeeze time to participate in all kinds of voluntary services.
On February 25th, he volunteered at Xunlimen metro station in Wuhan with some other international students. “My job was to direct ways for passengers. I could understand most of their talking, and if I could not understand, I would turn to the staff for help.” he said humbly. When asked about his feelings towards this activity, he answered with a slight of shyness and said: “It was really a pleasant experience. We said ‘Happy New Year’ to people walking by, and they replied the same to us. It was quite tiring standing up all day in the cold weather, but we were serving people, and serving people itself was meaningful. When they were happy, we felt happy too! There are more and more volunteer activities in Wuhan recently, and I believe it is good for foreigners to join in. I will continue participating volunteer services if there is any chance available.”
As a matter of fact, this was not the first time for Lucas to volunteer in Wuhan. In the last semester, he joined SICA in its Teacher Supports of International Students Program twice to teach local primary school kids English. In January this year, he went to another primary school at Xinzhou District of Wuhan, to introduce his home country Brazil to local primary kids. “Chinese kids are very cute, and full of curiosities. I really love them. He was also keen on voluntary work back in Brazil. He used to teach math, geography and history to the kids in his same neighborhood and teach old people how to use computer.
Our interview day happened to be March 5th, the Lei Feng’s Day in China which is to honor the Chinese hero Lei Feng who is known for serving and helping people in China. Lucas told us that he used to see Lei Feng’s pictures on the streets and he read a lot of his stories later on. He admired this man very much, and wanted to become a meaningful man serving the whole society.
The Brazilian Boy’s China Dream
Having been studied in China for almost two years, Lucas has been to many cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, etc. He expressed his love to this country that, “Before I came to China, I never thought it could be this modernly developed! People here are so friendly, and Chinese food is so tasty. I really enjoyed hot dry noodles, the most typical local food in Wuhan.” When it came to his future plan after the exchange study, he said “I will apply to study for my master degree here in HUST, and I am looking forward to a promising future in China after graduation.”
During the end of the interview, Lucas, this sunshine Brazilian boy is still carrying his typical shy and sincere smile on his face.