“I’m a wildlife consultant for a private organisation in Singapore. The same way people approach financial consultants when they have financial problems, people approach me when they need solutions related to wildlife matters.

Once, the airport had a problem with migratory birds that would get into the planes’ engines. Having a damaged plane means losing billions of dollars, and it was my job to determine why wild birds congregated around the aerodrome.

Anyways, you asked what brought me to the Human Library today? Well, I signed up because I was curious, really. When I read the event synopsis, I saw a great diversity of lives, from ex-convicts to people with cancer. It’s a great platform to understand and be exposed to people who are different from you.

One of the “human books” I borrowed was Lily the deaf musician. Ever since I picked up the sign language, I’ve been interested in people who can’t hear, especially their world views and how they communicate.

I was also keen to talk to Lily because, apart from being a wildlife consultant, I’m also a musician in a church band. I started learning the guitar as a form of interest, but challenges slowly started to surface after I joined the band.

I’m not an excellent musician, and I find it very difficult to excel as one. Everyone else in the band is so advanced and so good, and I’ve had to manage my insecurity so that I can get to where they are and not be a burden.

Talking to Lily and learning about how she managed as a musician really amazed me. She takes about eight to nine months to practise a piece with her band; I get impatient after just one to two weeks! I’m definitely more motivated to improve my skills now.“ – Wan Xuan, 24

This interview was conducted at “The Human Library” event in Singapore – an initiative by Etch Empathy. Click here to find out more.

Follow Us On Instagram