Gratitude. Every day, I would always question myself, why I did not get this or that. If only I have this or that, surely I can be happy/successful later is a sentence that always lingers around my mind. All this while, I have never appreciated what I have. Instead, I compared myself to others whom I think have everything this world could offer.
Joining Project Teringai-Temunda is really an eye-opener for me. A two-week experience that I will never forget and always cherish in my heart.
Since 2017, volunteering has always excited me the most. There are so many things that I can learn by involving myself in volunteerism. However, I must admit that this is the volunteering experience that touched my heart the most.
It was heartbreaking for me to see the kids in SK Temuno-Teringai Darat facing all the hardships like lack of facilities in the school. It was also sad to know that there are kids who could not attend school due to the long travelling distance and having to help their parents earn money for their daily life. For a moment, I realized that I actually had a very pleasant experience in school where I did not have to worry about anything unlike the kids here.
Still, regardless of the challenges and shortcomings here and there, they managed to be happy and enjoyed every moment that they spent at the school. I remember when I was teaching my Mathematics students (Alexryan and Calvin Odiel, Amos was absent), they were super fast in understanding the division concept that I taught them, to the point where they could already three-digit division questions on the same day. I was impressed but at the same time, dejected. If only they had the attention and guidance before this, surely they could have master the topics all along.
Again, I realized that they had insufficient manpower in the school, in addition to their family members being unable to properly guide them on certain subjects as I assumed that they too, experienced the same conditions as their kids. After thinking of that, I remembered how my teachers had been giving me full attention and guidance, in addition to my mom sacrificing a lot to ensure that my siblings and I could get the best education in town.
I still remember their smiles after managing to answer the questions correctly. No words could explain how fulfilled I felt seeing their achievement and contentment. One sentence that I would never forget until now, and which I hope I will remember for a long time is, “Mestilah saya dapat buat, sebab kakak yang ajar saya." It was from when I complimented Alex for doing a great job in solving the questions. It was so powerful that it was actually what kept me going for the past two weeks and hopefully in the future too.
Only now did I realize that he was actually the one who inspired me to keep going and teaching them throughout the two weeks. Whenever I was tired and could not stand the kids' attitude (of course la kids being kids kan), I would think of that one sentence he said to me. I would imagine their feeling of accomplishment and joy after understanding the concepts and answering the questions correctly as well as their confidence and trust in me.
For having a good family, for having a mom who was super concerned about her children, for having transportation to school, for having tar roads on the journey to school, for having neat and clean uniforms, for having clean water supply, for having cellular service and internet connection, for having a great school, for having amazing teachers, for having enough school facilities, for having a pleasant atmosphere at school and for having everything that the kids could not afford to have, I am now more than thankful for everything that I have.