Volunteering on Peace and Happiness Foundation, without any doubt, had been a pretty rewarding experience. I was a volunteer at Ban Na School, Nan, Thailand. Even though I was a teacher before, I was afraid of teaching kids that did not speak the same language as me. Not only that, but I was very scared of living in a country that was very far from mine, with a completely different culture. But at the same time, I craved the same things I was scared of. I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and use my time on something I was sure it was worth it. So, I did it and I don’t regret it at all.
There were many changes and sometimes it was hard to get used to a completely different environment and life style, but I knew that greatest things in life doesn’t come easily. Also, the teachers and everybody at school were very supportive and did their best to make me feel at home and I am really thankful for that. My students started to learn many new things pretty quickly and the best part is that they were not just learning English and subjects like Math or Science, but they were learning many new skills and they were developing their analytical thinking: something I really think is key in Education, and in which I truly agree with Peace and Happiness Foundation. While they were learning, I was learning too. I was learning to live by my own, to appreciate the little things in life, what truly matters at the end, and to live according to my values. I love my students because even though we don’t speak the same language, they taught that language is not a requirement to connect with other human beings.
I feel very happy that I got the chance to live out of my mother country, meet people from different cultures, and contribute on a program which is trying to improve the education in rural communities. This experience has certainly openned up my perspective and made me grow as a person. For me, it was also a time in which I realized the wonderful things I was capable of doing, the potential that all human beings have to impact other people’s lives. I also found myself feeling very proud for doing things by my own that I have never done before like traveling alone, being able to communicate without knowing the local language, and trying tons of new things. I am and will be very grateful to Peace and Happiness Foundation and Ban Na School for giving me the opportunity to live this life-changing experience.