I recently brought back memories of Bhuddist monastery in Myanmar, were I volunteered in teaching English four years ago. I worked with kids; beautiful, happy faces full of joy and vibrant energy. They would run towards us to giving us ‘the five’, calling us with a graceful “Hello” and clambering all over us to carry our stuff for us. Whatever we had in our hands in that moment; a bag, a camera, a bottle of water or even a coffee sachet, they would grab it from us to carry it into the classroom. Once we got there we would find everything in the right place.
They could be 5 or 10 or a bit more, never mind, all perceptive aware and in touch with their surroundings. When my mobile dropped out of my pocket, before I even managed to turn around a little voice was calling “…eacher, eacher..” (Teacher) and passing my phone back to me. When I was watching one of their local festivals and couldn’t really see the performance one of the pupil girls who I met that evening just picked me up, so I could see it! Along with her other girlfriend they were checking if I am OK, not cold, not thirsty not hungry… giving me fruits, their snacks… Oh my God!
Have you ever experienced a ten year old looking after you as an adult? I never had before coming to Myanmar. I haven’t even seen this when growing up in a fairly respectful society of communist Poland – with old school values in a rather collective awareness.
To me this was a big thing. An eye opener. Not that there is anything wrong with the kids from the West, but after experiencing this unconditional love being given from those little ones who sometimes do not have even the parents to look after them I can’t see how could I just simply have a kid here in the West raised in “our” way of being.
On our last day when leaving the monastery the children were those happy and strong to say goodbye with no fuss. I was the one who had a tantrum. Crying my tears out like… a child of the West for most of the time 😉