born in Macao and had a Portuguese passport, it was easy to enter England, a destination that appealed to him. “Chinglish helped me get by,” he recalls with a chuckle. Working as a waiter, Lei learned that someone who knew how to “play a few things” and had recorded albums in Macao as he had was still considered a low‑level musician in England. He spent two years travelling and experiencing life outside of Macao until he felt it was time to return. Lei was ready to embark on his plan of dedicating the next 10 years to social work which he had studied at Macao Polytechnic Institute before going to Europe. “The truth is that when we’re in Macao, we want to leave. But Macao is home, and after being out there we always want to come back.” Plus, there was a lot to do at home. OPEN SPACE Where visitors can chat or exchange books
FROM ‘UGLY DUCKLING’ TO ‘VILLAGE CHIEF’ Over the span of a decade, Lei worked in four different institutions helping drug addicts kick their addictions, establish rehabilitation plans which eventually led to his patients building families. He also supported students with academic problems in continuing their education and assisted people with disabilities. “Sometimes I looked like a policeman. I’d arrive at the dumping grounds where groups gathered to do drugs, shout for them to come over with the authority of a policeman, and then change my tone of voice and speak to them calmly like a friend.” That was how Lei gained the trust of his clients and patients. Later, when he would lead
Published on Nov 27, 2016
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