Overall Rating:/ 10I could say I had an ‘amazing’ or ‘life-changing’ or ‘absolutely incredible’ experience in Thailand, but those words will never really suffice the wild culture I grew to love and the interesting people I lived amongst. I could honestly say that the past month I was in Thailand was the best month I've ever experienced. I haven't been living for that long, but the memories I made will stay in my heart for an eternity.
Being the youngest volunteer and coming a week after all the others, I suddenly felt very nervous about how they would act when they all met me. I expected to just keep to myself, but they all brought me under their wings like a little sister. They were all so different and from every continent in the world, but they were all so interesting, smart, humble, and down-to-earth. There is not one person I met that I didn't create some sort of bond, some more than others, but I will always remember them, each individually in their special ways. Every day I just sat back and absorbed everything I could - learning so much about the culture of Thailand, proper ways of teaching English, and ultimately about how to be the person I wish to be. You would be surprised how much you can learn about a person on the back of a motorbike, having weird and hilarious conversations drifting through the sandy mountainous road. At home, I was always a big talker, sometimes to a fault, not always stopping to listen to what others had to say. But I listened more than anything when I was on Samui. I listened to the knowledge that these amazing adults were handing down to me. Staring up at the stars, we talked about the universe and the different opportunities the future held for all of us.
Every class we walked into was a challenge and new experience in itself. It was so hard to figure out what they (the children) knew considering they are at all different levels and then having to come up with a lesson plan to make sure that something can get through to them. Some only understood 5% of what we were saying in English, if that even, but we were breaking a wall down so they could start to want to learn English.
My coordinator explained to me how important it is for this generations of students to learn English. Now that borders to Thailand are being opened to allow for easier migration in and out of the country, more people who can speak English are going to be coming into Thailand and may easily take a lot of the native jobs. Volunteers can really make a big difference, even if you are able to open the eyes of one or two kids, those kids will begin to WANT to learn and may eventually learn English fluently one day. The amount of improvements I saw in just 3 weeks was astonishing! They would come to us during lunch just to be able to practice a few of their new vocab words. Their eagerness will come a far way in their future education and I couldn't help but smile each and every day.
My eyes were truthfully opened to the beauties and horrors of the world and I literally could not have asked for a better program and group of people to have been alongside me through that journey. It is interesting to see where life will take me next!
Thank you so much to Love Volunteers for all the support before, throughout, and after my experience. I felt so safe and comfortable and am blessed to have had such an experience!
kop khun ka! THANK YOU! :)