“When we share our light with others, we do not diminish our own light. Rather, we increase the amount of light available to all. . . When out of gratitude we use our candle to light other people’s candles, the whole room gets brighter.”
—Master Sheng Yen, “Rich Generosity”
Not every day on this Peace Corps adventure feels like I am sharing my light.
Many days my light is waning, twitching on and off like a light bulb burning on its last wattage as I deal with disappointments, difficult situations, and feeling drained.
And yet there are some experiences that are enlightening and enlivening where I am glowing with a rekindled desire to share my light.
A week away from site, collaborating on a project with 4 other volunteers for an English training at a Vocational School in Phuket, was just that spark my flickering flame needed.
- Sunday and Monday – Planning & Prepping
- The 4 other volunteers and I created the content and organization of the training from scratch, and so lots of revisions were made throughout the first few days as we gathered feedback and prepared materials for the days ahead.
- Tuesday – Training Day 1
- Getting comfortable – To encourage involvement and motivation, participants (40 Thai teachers and 20 students) learned a lot of ice-breakers, energizers and competed in games with vocabulary and conversation as an overview of the content we would be presenting more in-depth on Day 2.
- Wednesday Training Day 2
- Specific content learning – Participants enjoyed activities at stations concentrating on improving English skills in the 4 subject areas: Hotel (front desk/housekeeping), Restaurant, Tourist Information, and Tour Guide.
- Thursday Training Day 3
- Application of skills – The color teams competed in a Photo / Video Scavenger Hunt around Old Town to practice finding tourist information and speaking English with foreigners. We finished the day with a review and closing ceremony.
My team was Yellow!
- Friday and Saturday – Sports Opening Ceremony & Patong Beach
- We able to watch the parade and attend a ceremony of unparalleled performances by the whole school displaying a mix of creative cohesion, school spirit, and national pride I had never seen before.
We tried some local dishes, many influenced by Chinese cuisine like these delicious noodles.
The school spoiled us with accommodations at the college, meals and snacks prepared for daily, as well as setting us up in a resort to enjoy after the training.
The Director of the Vocational School was so impressed with our successful camp, that there is another training being planned for December to train 100 more vocational teachers!
I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with the great Thai staff at the Vocational School, who became instant friends, taking us to out to karaoke, dancing, and walking around Phuket’s markets and beaches.
And I can’t say enough about the 4 other PC volunteers I was able to work with, learn from, and just relax with. From late nights of planning, eating Pizza Hut, and exploring a Chinese market celebration full of red turtles on our way to 711 to exploring Patong beach, where we were able to unwind with pedicures, massages, eat dinner at Full Moon brewery, watch “Crazy Rich Asians,” and enjoy long conversations on the beach. They’re a talented group, each with a lot of experience running trainings and different strengths that really diversified our output, turning the training into a fun learning week for all.
Grateful to be shining bright again 🙂 6 more months of service to go!