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For the third consecutive year (2013), ImmerQi staff, accompanied by some Teach and Travel China interns, participated in a corn harvesting event at a local foster home for blind and visually impaired orphans.

Autumn is the season of crop harvesting and ImmerQi staff travelled down to one our partner charities to assist the organisation with their annual corn harvesting. In addition to members of staff from ImmerQi’s Beijing office, several participants of the Teach and Travel China program also joined in the work and fun!

The whole event was made possible by ImmerQi’s Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) team, that regularly organises charitable events around Beijing, from raising money during a walkathon to clothes drives.

The day’s activities included a tour of the foster home, an introduction to the children that live there, several hours of corn harvesting and a dodgeball tournament!

Waking up at 7am to clear blue skies was a true blessing, a refreshing change from the sometimes smoggy air that shrouds the city. All attendees were in high spirits during the 1.5 hour journey to the foster home, located in the southern part of Beijing, and were delighted to be greeted by a sea of smiling faces as the children came out to greet us upon arrival.

A brief tour of the foster home and it was time to get to work. In previous years, ImmerQi helped out by ‘de-kerneling’ the corn cobs by hand, but this year a slightly later harvest meant that we all got the chance to get really stuck in with uprooting the crops and collecting the fresh cobs. Hard and tiring work, but a great help to the foster home who are almost completely self-sustained.

After several hours of cutting, pulling and cringing (there were quite a few creepy crawlies in the field!),  all of the volunteers had worked up quite an appetite, soon to be quenched by a delicious picnic style lunch prepared by the CSR team.

Salads, pastas, fruit, sandwiches and various snacks provided all attendees with the sustenance they needed after such an intense few hours of manual labour.

After lunch it was time for dodgeball – a sport that is sure to make anyone who played it at primary school feel a pang of nostalgia. Reece prepared the players by reciting the rules of the game and seperating everyone into 4 equal teams. The tournament was underway, with some ImmerQi staff showing off their ducking and diving skills, others showing off how quickly they could be eliminated! Some intense competition pushed Reece’s and James’s teams to the top of league table for one final face-off. James’s team eventually emerged as the victors, collecting their well-earned medals and posing for a champion’s picture.

The dodgeball tournment marked the end of the day’s events as a team of exhausted volunteers made their way back to bus.

ImmerQi’s 3rd annual corn harvesting event was another great success. Not only did the foster home benefit from a bit of help on the farm, but ImmerQi staff and participants had the chance to bond with each other and trade stories about their time in China.

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