It was so awesome being part of ETA4 for five weeks long, so much fun, sweetness and joy.
ETA4 Duc Linh 2014 – my first time for everything
It can be said that ETA4 Duc Linh 2014 is my first time for everything: first time for five weeks long living and doing and having fun together, everything: eating meals, doing the dishes, singing during dish washing; walking to the church where we taught, waiting for friends and running in heavy rains back to the hotel; we were happy, we were sad; first time for feeling happy because of being friends, being sisters and brothers with the super friendly kids. I still remember the first day we came, all the kids were already there at the church, just for welcoming us even though they could only stay for a while because of church; the last day when we were leaving, those kids were also there, at the church, some with red eyes, some with pens and notebooks, said goodbye. They were just so sweet.
Van, another volunteer and I taught the level B, grade 7. Our first day could be said that “fun and many surprises”. The kids were just like having known us for years and years. Some kids from other classes passed and greeted us “Hello”. Some came to us and asked us for names because we were new.
Every day, the morning classes started at 8 and lasted until 11. The afternoon classes were from 2 to 3.30 and after that, it was for outdoor activities such as swimming, basketball, frisbee, dodge ball or other games. Victor, the program leader and other volunteers, usually were in charge of gathering the kids and taught them how to play or we just also joined them for fun. We often merged two, three or more classes and let them compete with each other. Sometimes, instead of sports and games, we turned the music on, taught kids to sing and dance. The kids love such activities.
Every two weeks, it was time for a “Talent Show” night which I love the most in ETA4. The kids not only learn English in classes, in games and sports, they also have chance to build up confidence though music and showing off what they have learned from us because English songs would be preferable.
Besides, there was another night called “Movie Night” which were nights of Kungfu Panda, Up, Brave, Monster University…. I also love these nights. I would never forget the moments of seeing the excited faces of the kids, hearing their happy laughter or sharing them snacks while watching movies.
We, volunteers stayed in a hotel, where is only 10 minute walk to the church. Every weekday, we woke up around 7 a.m. or earlier and went to the church for breakfast and preparing copies, or just made sure we’re ready for morning classes. Lunch time was around 11 a.m. After the meals, we helped to do the dishes. Well, I can tell, to us, dish washing never gets bored because we were always in team even dish washing. From dish washing, there born a Broom Master, her job was sweeping and sweeping, there born a Pot Master (we called him Xoong in Vietnamese), you can leave any dirty pots for him, his job was to clean them.
Back to our meals, we were so lucky having a supper good cook. She was kind and nice to us since she often asked us about our favorite foods so that she could prepare for us….Ahh, I love her so much.
When dinner time was done, it was time for we could do anything we wanted. But normally, if it was not movie night or talent show night, we gathered in our “Big group”, sometimes to be fun we called it “Party Room” or “Ballroom”. It was time for all volunteers to sit down and get to know each other more. We watched movies, we played games, we sung, we celebrated birthday, we talked about anything love, friends, jobs… That was how the friendships were built.
We were still happy living faraway home since we had Wi-fi here. We also had AC, grocery store where you can buy anything, toothbrush, washing powder, snacks, anything.
Honestly, I love the program because of people. The volunteers, the kids, the Father, the Brothers, the kids’ families and other local people, they were so much nice. We, volunteers, the kids, other people were happy since we wanted that. In fact there were still things not as good as expected, but I believe everyone from ETA4 Duc Linh 2014 agreed with me that we wanted to be happy and we in fact had a wonderful time there. Chi Trang, Linh, my big sisters, always ready to give you help. Victor encouraged anyone. I found that he always spoke English slow enough to let anyone that he knew they would understand him better when he does not speak fast. Dan, our youngest brother, love to eat, he always made everyone feel pleased since he liked jokes and helping people around. There are Van, Momo, Quynh, Lam, Hoang, Thanh … nice friends who I think I would to see them again this summer.
When I am writing this, I feel so happy that we made it, ETA4 Duc Linh last summer. I always look forward a chance of coming back.
I would love to recommend this program to my friends and you so if you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]