On This Auspicious August

Wow! The open field of S.A.G. is truly marvelous even at sunset.

Another month has just passed, and my volunteer journey will soon to end. Still, I have gained more memorable and wonderful insights from it. At first, I was a little bit reluctant, insecure and bashful to talk to various people or locals, perhaps of the language barrier or what they think of me. However, my perception changed. What I felt before is not the same as today. I feel comfortable and at ease talking to different people wherever I go. For some reason, we could still understand one another even though they couldn’t communicate much in English. I can see the pressure of speaking a language they’re not used to, but I believe that it’s actually beneficial for them to do so if they encounter any foreigners like me.

How sweet it is for my lovely students Kham Bu and Teresa to cook yummy lunch for me!

I have made up my mind to continue my service to this institution by working independently after this period of volunteering. I like to undertake this opportunity to further develop and hone the teaching skills I have acquired over the past year of volunteering. I am planning to contribute my services for two more years here and hopefully I can proceed pursuing my further studies later on. Isn’t that awesome to have been given such a great opportunity?!

See you again, Uncle Quentin!

Everything was just normal throughout my August journey: working and doing the usual volunteering works I have. On its first week, we had a lovely gathering and farewell dinner for Uncle Quentin here in S.A.G. one night. All the interns and some staff were with us sharing some thoughts about the future developments of the institute. It was indeed a lovely night being with a big group of students, faculty and staff. Ms. Irene, a former Chinese-Malaysian director of this institute, also visited for just two days. It was an honor for me to have met her and to have talked with her on how S.A.G. started and developed.

Some students of Level 2A from Pyin Nyar Oo Yin, Myanmar

On Sundays, I had to engage myself in the outreach teaching with the 2nd and 3rd year students. It was fun observing and seeing them applying the teaching styles that we teachers taught to them. This might be an exhausting and challenging task for me as I have two classes with the children before setting out to an outreach site. Once I go down from the bus, I would normally feel sleepy wanting to stay more inside it. But, I didn’t let my drowsiness overtake me. A work is a work and I have to keep moving on. I have been observing in some classes of my student-teachers. On their break time, it’s a common thing for us to share any insights regarding their practicum or teaching assistant-ship. I just found some amusements for myself after all the experiences and realizations shared to me by the students and not just purely observations and giving of feedback. No matter how sleepy or tired I am every time I enter a class, but as long as the students are making sure that they’ve been teaching well and having fun with the children, I can say that my day is indeed productive. I’m also blessed to be an outreach site coordinator for my students or shall I say, for our future teachers.

Let’s start each day with a smile!

S.A.G. has been a home for me. When I think about my family in the Philippines, I also think about my family here in S.A.G. They have been so nice to me. I do miss my family, but whenever I’m with my family here, it really feels like I’m still at home. By the way, I mean materially speaking, I have received a new smartphone from one of the Jesuit brothers here and this has been the greatest gift I have ever received from S.A.G. and I’m very glad to have been given a gift that I didn’t expect it to have.

On our way to the outreach site with the bus…

In my life as a young adult, a volunteer and a teacher, I often reflect and appreciate all the small things I received each day. Before, I was daydreaming of something better like what I am now and what I have now. But later on, I realized that what I want in life isn’t an easy task. Now, I couldn’t ask for more things I don’t deserve. Perhaps, I am now and I have now what I wanted before. That’s why this month has been so auspicious for me. At some point, the quotation I learned from my former classmate is truly realistic:

“There is time for everything. Whatever it is that we desire from life, we may not get it because time hasn’t come yet. We should not be selfish about anything. We have to stop looking for things that we shouldn’t be looking for because they’ll come naturally at some point in our lives… as long as we are patient and strong enough to survive.”

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