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Volunteers at China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo | the Blue-wizards at CAETE

Released on:2019-12-02 Views:


China Voice online

Updated: June 30, 2019 11:01 China Voice Online Co., Ltd.

Blue-wizard at CAETE——

Sketch of volunteers at the First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE)

Huang Tingting, journalist of Hunan Daily

In Africa, there are not only yellow desert, green grasslands, fiery sunset, but also the endless Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The blue sea and sky set each other off beautifully.

There is a kind of blue in the three-day CAETE. They are the volunteers in blue coats. Such blue-wizards play their parts at the venue, exhibition hall, the reception... Everyone makes their contribution to the Expo and demonstrates the energy of youth.

You can always ask the volunteers in blue for help

"Hi girl, could you help to ask if I can invest to establish a factory in their country?"

"Could you translate for me, please? I want to visit China's pavilions upstairs."


The exhibition hall is open from 9 am. to 5 pm., during which, Zhang Congcong, a student majoring in English from Central South University, has been working as a volunteer in Kenya pavilion without taking a break, all by one responsible for the reception, introduction of products, cooperation contact and translation.

Guests and merchants from different countries, African delegation representatives and the citizens attending the Expo have reached a consensus that you can always ask the volunteers in blue for help! The blue-wizards, an elite team, turn out to live up to expectations.

The volunteers' team has made great efforts to make the African delegation really feel at home in Hunan by speaking the mother tongue of the delegation.

Not only without language barrier in English, but there are also over 100 volunteers who major in French, Portuguese and Italian among the 650 volunteers.

Due to a lack of Portuguese translators, Zhang Wanwan, a teacher at Hunan College of Foreign Studies has also initiatively applied to work as a volunteer to receive the Cabo Verde delegation.

Yang Peiran, a student from Central South University, young but with strong ability, followed Museveni, President of Uganda, and worked as his "personal" translator.

As far as we know, the volunteers of the first CAETE are from 12 universities and colleges, including Hunan Normal University, Central South University and Central South University of Forestry and Technology and 50% of them are at least graduates. There are also professionals with practical experiences in major international conferences.

"Don't worry. We will make it."

At 3 p.m. on June 27, Krimbo, a dance artist from Côte d'Ivoire, was hurt in toe when dancing barefoot but stepping on sharp objects accidentally.

Not quite familiar with China before, he was a little reserved and simply dressed the wound with tissue, sitting at the corner alone.

But the volunteers acutely captured the situation.

Yin Kaipeng from Central South University of Forestry and Technology immediately came to him to ask about her wound in French and at the same time let another volunteer contact the medical team.

"Don't worry. we will help you." Yin Kaipeng tried to make Krimbo relax by comforting him all the time.

The medical team urgently arrived within one minute. Yin Kaipeng interpreted for the doctor and Krimbo. After the wound being treated well, Krimbo breathed a sigh of relief, showing a smile.

Instead of leaving immediately, Yin Kaipeng checked around and considerately contacted the staff of Hunan International Convention & Exhibition Center to clean the venue to screen potential safety hazards.

Yin Kaipeng said that volunteers might meet different emergencies. To handle such a situation, both experience and previous training are important.

Tan Jie, a researcher from the International Liaison Department of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hunan Sub-council, was responsible for the selection, training and management of volunteers for CAETE. She told the journalist, the volunteers had started training in batches since May, learning about African knowledge, studying courtesy etiquette, handling emergencies and practicing the ability of team work.

To manage the three-day work standing in the venue, the teachers of Hunan College of Foreign Studies have provided physical training for the volunteers two months in advance, to make sure that they can work full of vigor during the Expo.

"It is a grand event to be held in Changsha, and I want to play my part."

"I can come to work again." On the evening of June 27, Du Jingya sent WeChat messages to Tan Jie.

A few days before CAETE, Du Jingya got a fever and she had to quit her work. But she immediately requested to go back to her work as she just recovered from cold.

Du Jingya said, it is a grand event to be held in Changsha, and I want to play my part.

Almost all of the volunteers uphold the same idea as Du Yajing.

Many volunteers who are responsible for receiving foreign guests kept waiting at the airport till early morning and got up early at 6 a.m. rushing to the exhibition hall.

Several universities initiatively helped the students to adjust their time for class and examination so that the volunteering can be dedicated to their work.

Liu Junmao, Li Yaqi and other students from Hunan Normal University requested to postpone their graduate thesis defense so that they can smoothly complete the volunteering reception of the presidential delegation of Uganda.

Liu Zicong, a senior at the International College of Central South University of Forestry and Technology has already participated in social work. But he didn't want to miss CAETE, so he asked for a leave from his boss and gave up his bonus so that he could work as a volunteer.

Peng Xiaolang, a sophomore from Central South University of Forestry and Technology, was a younger one among the volunteers. After three days of volunteering work, she told the journalist that she was tired but happy.

"It is not everyone that one meets such opportunity. It is the happiest thing for me to participate in it." Peng Xiaolang said.

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"It is happy, though tired, to make professional interpretation for African friends. "

At 6 a.m. on June 28, once the alarm rang, Li Yang got up and made his preparations, ironing the suit, styling his hair, reviewing the manuscript for a few times while having breakfast. He arrived at the exhibition hall one hour before it was open.

At 9:30 a.m., Li Yang wore "bee speaker" and led the Cameroon economic minister and the delegation to visit the pavilions of African countries. Speaking in pure French, Li Yang told the cooperation stories and introduced the development of all provinces of China. His expertise interpretation was commended by the Cameroon friends.

Li Yang told the journalist that the interpretation should have lasted for one hour. But he found that the minister of Economy of Cameroon has been already of advanced years, so he simplified the manuscript in his mind temporarily and arranged a break during interpretation. At the same time, he closely paid attention to the health of the Minister.

Such a flexible and individualized interpretation made the journalist misunderstand him as a professional guide. 

Actually, Li Yang is a senior French interpreter from Yarace Hunan, but he has little experience in guide before the Expo. To make full preparations for the Expo, it took him half a month to carry out interpretation training, practice speaking skills and recite the interpretation manuscript.

"I had 18 pages of manuscripts to comprehend and recite. In addition, I have made a lot of efforts for this interpretation." Li Yang said that he had almost recited all the things related, such as the history of various African countries, geography, culture and economic development, the situation of leaders to be received, the origin of China-African cooperation and the background of CAETE.

And all his preparations did work. Togo was seeking for cooperation opportunities in China. With acute reaction ability, Li Yang guided the delegation to the booth of Chinese mineral companies as considering the advantage of rich mineral sources of Togo, which cut into their point as expected.

As far as we know, there are 19 professional interpreters at the 1st CAETE, who are all senior English and French interpreters.  In the lounge, the journalist found that, instead of relaxing, the interpreters were adjusting their interpretation manuscripts as per site conditions and kept in the status to be always ready.

"It is for the first time that such a high level international Expo is held in Changsha. We need to take advantage of our ability in foreign language and show professionalism." Li Yang, the Changsha boy, said with a smile that he was happy to interpret for African friends though it was a little tired.

Momo, the busy "translator"

"This way, please!"

"Wait a minute. I will convey your demand immediately!"

On June 28, before the Forum of Economic and Trade Cooperation between XPCC and African Enterprises started, a member from Egypt delegation was striking as he was quite fluent in Chinese and gesturing flexibly, who just looked like a native "Hunan expertise".

"His Chinese name is Momo and he is the translator of our delegation who comes from Yemen." One of the accompanying volunteers from Changsha said.

With black and bright skin, Roman nose and hair worn in a bun, as tall as 1.8 meters, he is definitely a handsome guy.

He "took a message" at the venue, by swiftly switching Chinese, English and Arabic. A lot of participants were eager to convey their "innermost thoughts and feelings" to the new friends, holding his hands tightly.

Momo was too busy to attend to all, but there was always a smile on his face.

The "translator" Momo is a candidate for a doctoral degree majoring in Business Administration from Hunan University, who is invited to provide "friendly service" for the Egypt delegation attending the CAETE.

Momo works very seriously. Within only 3 days, he can tell the basic information of most members of the Egypt delegation. He also works with the Chinese team and can even make jokes about Chinese style.

Born in August 1988, he thinks he always has good luck. From applying for a master's degree to a doctoral degree, he has been living and studied in Changsha for 9 years, feeling the growth of this city. He has got his deeply concerned love in Changsha. But he hasn't disclosed more romantic details.

"Let's have coffee and chat freely some other day!" Momo warmly invited us.