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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Lessons, Camillian and the Orphanage

By 5 years ago
Categories Phang Nga

I’ll admit that I was stressed at the beginning of the week, I don’t know what brought it on, I guess everything adding up made me anxious, I felt like I wasn’t meant for teaching or I don’t belong in a country half way around the world. Then something changed, I don’t quite know what it was but I think it was the GVI staff member who is leading the teaching children; Laura. We didn’t talk about anything important but she just relaxed me. I felt confident. I gave my Wednesday lesson 110% and the class loved my enthusiasm, timing went well, drilling went well, activities went well. We came back in a loud and wild lightning storm to Pad Thai stuffed into an omelette, best meal I’ve had so far here!

Today we went back to the Camillian Social Centre to help out with the kids with learning difficulties and the same kid with autism came up and wanted to play with me, all the other kids were just as energetic as usual. I got a chance to teach a couple of the staff there some basic level 1 English which they really appreciated. When we arrived back we were offered to come to the annual football match with the kiwis working with Australian charity, Hands Across the Water. It was at the nearby orphanage at Baan Than Namchai, there are 74 kids there and they’re all adorable and really enthusiastic. I felt great playing football barefoot but we lost to a pretty serious looking team with their own kits and everything. I find that if there’s a chance to do anything extra around here, take that chance! It’s the extra things that have really spiced up my experiences here and given me a chance to look outside of just my own program and outside GVI itself too!

We gathered in a hall for dinner and I helped out preparing the dishes for the kids, we used basic metal plates with indents for soup but the food itself was really good, it was nice to feel like you don’t need a fancy plate to have a great meal. We sat on the floor with the kids and ate as many gathered around me to play, I talked with them, played games, made them laugh and picked them up and swung them round. All these kids are happy and yet they have so little compared to us. Perhaps it shouldn’t be the the less developed world trying to be like us because I think this is a great example of how much we can learn from them. I felt so full of humanity and joy today with such simple means, no high technology, no drinks; just the fundamental feeling of togetherness. Tonight I felt like I really belonged.

Jack Sanctuary – Teaching English volunteer, Phang Nga, Thailand