Enrica and Teresa are two of our International Volunteers working with us at the Marist Mission in Ranong.
In partnership with Caritas Italy they arrived in February. Its been a new challenge for them teaching in the classroom but they both enjoy their students and the experience of life away from home.
Enrica remembers words spoken to her by her Mother. “You have only one opportunity to see the world, so why are you afraid? Prepare your luggage and go!”
“So, here I am living 12 thousands kilometres away from home, and I am experiencing tropical rain for the first time in my life. I look around and see only foreign faces, and I think that I don’t wish to be in any other place in the world in this moment.
This is quite funny because I think of myself few months ago, still at home, frightened by the idea of taking my flight for Thailand.”
I am having the opportunity to discover the Myanmar culture and to learn the language, and I get to see the smiling faces of my students which inspire me to be a better teacher every day.
They have given me a Myanmar name since my Italian one is too difficult for them to pronounce. They call me teacher “Cherry Hnin” since I am sweet as a berry and white as snow (hnin in Myanmar language).
Teresa shares how it is hard to express her happiness at working with the staff at Marist Mission Ranong. She is happy to be here doing what she had dreamt of doing for so long.
Teaching English and Science has been a challenge but seeing the students always smiling and eager to learn it’s so heart-warming.
Both Teresa and Enrica join the Health Project each week and visit HIV AIDS patients. Teresa says “it is a way to come into people’s lives, understand more about the Burmese culture and create a relationship with them”.
Enrica now recognises “how hard it is for the patients to get through the discrimination and stigma caused by being HIV-positive.”
Looking toward the future and her time serving and volunteering Enrica feels grateful and “surrounded by a lot of extraordinary people who are teaching me so much.” “They are making a big difference in my life, and I can only think that my mother was right: there was nothing to be scared of.”
Teresa offers some advice for those interested in volunteering: “There is so much work to do here in Ranong and so many people struggling everyday for a better life. I truly believe that everyone has a skill that can be taught to someone in need: whichever experience is for you, you will have an unforgettable time.
Read more Visitor and Volunteer Stories.