At the beginning of 2019, I sat in a Buddhist sanctuary, did meditation with my mother and other Buddhists at Kanchanaburi province of Thailand. During the night, a monk taught us various moral and religious teachings. One of them I remembered was about the value of life. Buddhism’s perspective is taught us to believe in reincarnation and we have been teaching that it is difficult to be born as a human being. What makes our life meaningful and worthy to live depends on our choice to choose to be.
I always bear this lovely teaching in my mind because I believe that all consequences in our life occurred by our actions. Hence, my New Year resolution in this year was about making my life more valuable by helping other people, traveling to new places and meeting new people, and being a change maker (start from myself and others, if it can be).
One day I decided to apply for Empowering Youth Program supported by ASEAN Foundation and Maybank Foundation in the educational area which took place in Ende, Indonesia. I did not hesitate to choose Indonesia because I was totally amazed by the landscapes and traditions here. Basically, I am an adventurous person. Although traveling was quite a very long and uneasy journey to get there, I wasn’t afraid to do that. Until now I feel that I chose the right track due to many impressive reasons during the project.
First, I have been practiced working with local schools and how to arrange the workshops to parents and kids. In fact, it was quite easy for me to do that unless there was a barrier of language. This was the most challenging because it was really difficult when we could not communicate with the people you worked with. But it was proved that we were able to break through the barrier by our gestures and determination to convey.
Sometimes we also needed to learn some Bahasa Indonesian words to speak with the kids. It was fun to speak with them, too. Through this, I also learned how to build and maintain a relationship and raise awareness of diversity among people, language, and idea.
Next, my second impression was about working along with other ASEAN friends and our CSO. This brought a wealth of experience to me. In many situations, I learned many things from my amazing friends such as their grits, fighting spirits, leadership, industriousness, creativity, and so on. For soft skills, I could learn how to be a mature, kind, passionate, open-minded, and understanding person.
Friendship is one of the most important things in my life. Thanks to destiny, it has drawn us together. Being with these people in two weeks was literally wonderful. I was so lucky to meet them and had them in my life. Unfortunately, the time flew so fast. I still hope that someday we will meet and have fun together again.
When I look back, I have realized that it was a promising start for this year. All tasks have been done. Educating locals, having friends for life, backpacking, as well as having self-reflection, which is important to make changes, have been achieved already.
In the end, I have to say that I have never regretted choosing to join the project in Ende, Indonesia. I have found my value of life here. The memories will last with me forever. I will remember all the memorable moments that my friends and I have been through together. Miss them so much.
I agree with you that ‘sunset will never be the same’.
Thailand, March 2019
Hatthaya Yamchuti [Gift]