I have undertaken different volunteering programs over the past few years, mostly something local in my home country, Indonesia. I’ve been teaching voluntarily in the capital city down in the rural areas, building a better community at villages, guiding less fortunate children through motivating activities and programs, and so forth. It has always been a thrill to do so, to be a part of a change even so little. After all those years, at the beginning of 2018 I thought to myself “this is my last year of campus. I’m not going to have a long holiday anymore for at least several years- I gotta work.
My time won’t be enough for something crazy, something that I really want to spend a whole month.” At that point, I decided to plan for my winter June-July holiday. I decided to join a global volunteer program where I was to teach English in a rural area in Thailand [I strongly believe education is the main key to global economy]. Families from home would ask why not something local again, something for my country? It was because of the idea of ASEAN is really good to me, also the amount of exploration I could do. I want to widen my horizon by engaging with a new community. I decided to use my own money for plane tickets, for my time there. I decided to go and explore. It had to be at that moment.
The program included a two-day training on how to communicate with the locals, their culture, how to create teaching content, all the basic stuff. After, it was a six-week teaching program where I work along the teachers independently. The program was properly managed, where the volunteers were facilitated with enough needs. I was placed in Banhindad School, Mae Wong District in Thailand. It was five hours by van from Bangkok, going northwest near the Myanmar border.
If you ask me “How it was?” It was like home. Where I think I may have learnt more than they learned from me. Teaching wasn’t easy for sure. Imagine when you were young at school; children tend to be reckless, which is quite normal. However dealing with it, and actually turning things around, is the real challenge. I was placed to teach primary four and six, along with secondary junior to senior. I was lucky to have angelic students for primary four, but imagine teaching those other teenagers- They could be demon at some points, LOL. However I have always tried to teach the class in more interesting ways like doing camp energizers in English language or anything else to make them more familiar with the language. I ended up feeling like one of them, and we got very close to each other. It was the best thing when I felt like one of their family. They’re like my brothers and sisters. Creating the teaching content was the best challenge for me, especially with the handbook they had given me and the actual English skill the children had, I had to ensure the contents were learnt well by the children. Also, the difficult part is to understand their psychological behavior; how to appropriately apply educational content at their particular age. It was really interesting and of course a growth experiment for myself too. I ended up befriending hundred of students on my Facebook and it has been a month, we are still talking like it was yesterday.
Of course I took a lot more of pictures, and the chosen ones are on flickr.
While a Facebook link to the full pictures of those kiddos I met.
Video, coming up soon :]