“What makes your world wonderful?” I asked
“Studying English” she said.
“Because it is wonderful for my future”.
In February I spent two weeks teaching English at The Centre, Luang Prabang, with six bright young students from Northern Laos. These six students have left their homes and traveled to Luang Prabang for an education, to become nurses or teachers, and then return home and use their skills to help their village.
I came to Luang Prabang to share my knowledge of English, but I also came to reconnect with a part of life that can quickly be lost amidst the hustle and bustle of the everyday- to see and experience something true and good in the world – and this is something Laos has in abundance.
To turn up to the school each day and see six happy faces smiling at me was the best part of my day. These students know the value of their education and are so thankful for your time and help that two weeks doesn’t seem long enough – though it’s certainly long enough to miss them once you’re gone!
In one of our last lessons we sang the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, pulling out all the verbs, adjectives and nouns and talking about what the song meant. When my co-teacher, Ravi, and I, asked them what makes their world wonderful, there was a long silence, and then they said “friends – because they make you happy when you’re sad”, “family – because they are good”, and of course, “studying English – because it is wonderful for my future”. How easy it is sometimes to take these things for granted.
It has been a privilege to share this short time with these students and watch them learn. As I head home, I take with me an experience I will never forget, and a renewed connection to the world around me – and it’s a wonderful world indeed.
Luang Prabang, 4/2/17 until 18/2/17