----------- 2010-07-31 16:38:53 ----------- July 31st, 2010 - walker
Children are one third of our population and all of our future. ~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981
The last three days i spent with the children have been the most rewarding experience of my life. Day two began with a review from what we learned the previous day; followed by more English lessons. This day though, we came prepared with books, props, and lesson plans to have a more organized class.
Kabes and jax took the younger ones and posted up in a corner of the room. By the end of the day I heard the entire group singing the ABCs perfectly.
I took my four students to another house/hut in able to lessen the distractions and to concentrate on specific objects. The lesson went great for about twenty minutes. Then, the kids were more interested in the books i brought so I decided to switch things up and have a "silent reading time." really, this was just giving them a break and the chance to explore the new books. They have never had any real storybook in their own language, so they were ecstatic to actually be able to read a real story. After they got familiar with the books, we read a book together as a group. It was wonderful. The book was in both Laotian and English which made the reading incident a blast. I would read the page aloud in English and then they would read the same page to me in Laotian. After both languages were read and the children knew what was happening in the story, we read it again in English. Well, I would read and they would repeat and follow along with each word. It really seemed to work wonderfully.
After class time was over, it was time for the ceremony. Which is the most touching moment of my life. If the day comes and I decide to ever walk down that aisle, my wedding day won't even compare to this ritual I was able to be apart of. I was crying uncontrollably overcome with emotion and happiness. Which was actually comical because Courtney had just explained that tears meant "sad," so we had to explain that there are happy tears as well.
The ritual began with the village chief conducting the ceremony. We all picked up the wicker table that the flowers, rice, bracelets, and chicken were on and the chief said the chant for good luck. They then cut the chicken (which they had killed and cooked previously that day), and all four vegetarians ate the meat. We then put our germ filled hands in the rice bowl and ate again. I'm making this sound like it was a bad experience, but it was anything but that. I am trying to explain the liberating experience and attempting to illustrate our our small part in the culture, but I am not giving it any justice. The chant was followed by every person in the village putting the white ties around our wrists. Such a beautiful moment.