Anuradha

Name : Anuradha
Age : 25 years old
From : The Netherlands
Period : November 2013, 3 months
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When someone ask me how it was to volunteer, I can only sigh and say “amazing” not knowing where to start explaining my excitement for my incredible time in Phon Phisai.Teaching

Family

The warm welcome of Jack’s and Patricia’s family immediately made feel like home. Every day his mom made the most amazing dishes for the whole family and - it seems - without any effort. I still wonder how she can manage to do that every morning while I’m already struggling to make two sandwiches for myself in the morning without missing my train. We always ate dinner together and talked about the most random stories I won’t forget soon and about some stories I am still doubting if that is a good thing! It’s amazing to see all the beautiful places, like the mountain temple or the village market, especially with Jack “as a tour guide”. He knows a story behind everything he sees and the way he tells it… that’s just priceless!

Teacher Kratee

Ban Wat Luang Primary school

I volunteered at the primary school in the village (5 min. by bike) and taught together with an English teacher. Like every new thing, I had to get used to teaching, the environment and the students so the beginning was a little bit rough. After a while I found my way to them and from there on everything just felt on the right place. We played games, run around, shared food, played on the merry-go-around and so much more! I underestimated how much English they would still hear and pick up from me this way! With the same enthusiasm I taught English and sometimes it was still a hard job, because we didn’t always understand each other.

Monk school

Wat Pho Ngam

I also taught at the monk school, also together with an English teacher, and that was an amazing and memorable experience at an whole other level. I taught in the temple and the students were novices between 13 and 16 years old. Although it was difficult to reach them, I still taught with the same love and enthusiasm and once we were used to each other we had so much fun! I often practiced the pronunciation and the more exaggerated I pronounced the words, the more fun they had – mostly because they laughed át me and at the one who tried to say it – but eventually they all said it the right way! Sometimes I thought they would be bored with the English class, but once the bell rang I heard them say “oh no” or they even wanted to extend the English class with two more hours. Those little things assured me that the class was a success!

Dancing with kids

Life changing

During my time at the schools I realized that volunteering meant more to me than to teach English to the kids. It’s about to get to know them, to understand them or simply just be there for them. I tried to spend every moment I had with the kids from the primary- and the monk school and I loved every minute of it. I taught them English, but they taught me so much more: like they are still able to be happy and laugh, even when they have enough reasons to be sad, they can enjoy the moment as it is and they’re able to even share the littlest things they have with their friends or with me.

Smiles

The people I met made my journey unforgettable: the teachers, the families, the volunteers but most of all my students and Jack and Patricia. Their Buddhistic point of view on things in life changed mine so much. It’s amazing to see how Jack and Patricia are trying to help some kids from the village and I admire their effort to make this more standard so they could help more families.

I never imagined that I could love them and my students so much the way I do now. The question is not íf I’m going back to my (Thai) family, but whén… and I hope that is just a matter of time!