Day 5: Melissa Ong

It was only our 5thday here in the school and I was still adjusting to waking up feeling my numbed arm from sleeping sideways on the hard cold floor with just a sleeping bag separating us and my jacket as a pillow. However, being greeted by the sound of the students playing in the field and their laughter wakes me up almost immediately along with the footsteps of the other volunteers walking around the small wooden house as we wake up one by one. As the past few nights were raining heavily, we were lucky enough to get some running water out from the pipes so we didn’t have to brush our teeth with mineral water anymore hahaha.

It was only our 3rdday since class has started but I was already slowly getting used to this routine of waking up early, heading for breakfast and then class. As it rained last night, the field was muddy and wet but that didn’t stop the kids from playing and approaching the volunteers to hand out their handmade letters! I was shocked and touched when I myself received a few. To think that these kids would even spend time colouring their cards and making it as creative as they can just for us when we’ve only met for a few days warms my heart.

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Smiling faces that greet us every morning! ❤

The weather today, unlike the first few days of scorching heat was gloomy due to the morning rain. It was great until it started to rain again while we were having breakfast causing us to be stuck in the canteen while we wait for the rain to stop. Thankfully, the rain wasn’t as heavy anymore as it approached class time so the rain did not stop us from attending classes!

It was only my 3rdday of teaching but today’s English afternoon class was particularly hard to handle as the classroom was extra noisy causing my students to be very distracted and losing focus during class. It also did not help that due to the strong winds outside, a piece of the roof from one of the buildings flew off which caught the students’ attention making it even harder to get them to focus… I truly understood the struggles of a teacher trying to get their students to pay attention in class right there and then.

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Trying my best to teach despite my students being distracted, tougher than it seems 😥

After the afternoon class which ended at 4pm, it is usually followed up by the students’ play time for an hour but due to the rain, the students did not come out to field to play which meant precious resting time for the volunteers! As much as I love playing and bonding with the students, I really needed to recharge after that difficult afternoon session haha. 5pm was showering time and some of us girl volunteers got to shower with the girls staying in the hostel. I was touched by how the girls were willing to fill up our pail before theirs and allowed us to use their water to shower even before they were done showering themselves! Their hospitality and generosity towards us when we’ve only met for a few days truly showed me how kind these children are. After everyone was done showering, we were all starving and headed to the canteen for… dinner! The food served at the canteen was delicious and I am always so excited for meal times and as expected, tonight did not disappoint me.

Dinner was then followed by night classes! I personally prefer night classes as it wasn’t as hot in the classroom and my students could focus better as I assumed they probably felt fresh after showering and resting. All 3 of my students were doing well in this night class compared to earlier and I was glad to see them following the class well! It always puts a smile to my face when my students understand what I taught them and it makes me happier when they’re willing to learn and ask me questions when they’re met with a tough question! JI’ve only been teaching my students for 3 days so far but I see so much potential in each of them as they’re all fast learners despite their academic disparities. I can’t wait for the following lessons to come and hope that they truly get to gain more knowledge and improve through each and every lesson while I’m still here!

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Night class shot!
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Can’t wait to get to know my 3 students more! ❤

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