Ashley Wang: Taiwan
Ashley volunteered in rural Taiwan in an Aboriginal village during her university studies and was awesome enough to share an essay she wrote about her experiences.
You can find out more about the organisation here. : http://www.volunteermatch.org.tw/IW/default_en.asp
As some of you are probably aware, I have had a few mishaps recently in Saigon. The latest being snatch an grab after my run in the park last night, so I’m feeling a little down. This is a nice reminder of why I am here and why I love what I do!
Last Friday we talked about what you would like to be when you grow up. The kids got really into it, though I think much of their amusement was down to my lack of artistic talents. One cutie told me he wanted to be a football player and play for Manchester United. There were a few who wanted to be doctor, dancers and dentists! These kids are from disadvantaged areas, and have some learning and behavioural problems but I hope that they can continue to dream big as they grow up and I’m working hard to instil a good attitude and work ethic where education is concerned.
I taught my first English class this morning! After just over a week in Vietnam, I’m finally getting some work done and it feels really good! I now have a regular Friday morning class for an hour with some super cute kids.
The class is made up of about 15 students, between 7 and 13 and they don’t speak any English. Some of the older kids know some basics but it’s mostly just complete beginners.
The kids at this school either can’t afford to go to regular school, or have some learning difficulties which make it hard for them to keep with their classmates. The teachers there receive a small salary, but it is very small and they are basically volunteers too. The government covers the cost of water and electricity but everything else comes from donations.
I taught them some basics, the days of the week, kinds of weather, what’s your name and we sang a few songs. It was all very simple and they picked it up really fast. I had heard from a few people that Vietnamese students are really nice to teach, and they weren’t wrong. They were a little shy of course, but unlike my students of their age in Taiwan, they still made an effort to raise their hand and answer with a loud, clear voice.They are really eager to learn and very interested. They asked me a lot of questions! I think I’m going to love teaching them. I have no teaching assistant so I had to make sure I asked all the necessary questions today! Their supplies are pretty limited. They have a black board and chalk, some pencils and notebooks and some crayons to share. I will definitely bring some speakers and my phone for music next week!
I’d also like to help them kit up their classroom a little with some posters and teaching aids in the coming weeks. Really looking forward to the next few months 😀