Overseas volunteer work that has become a meaningful experience in my life

Overseas volunteer work that has become a meaningful experience in my life.

I applied for overseas volunteer work with the aim of creating special memories that many people do not get to experience. Volunteering embodies characteristics of voluntarism, selflessness, and public service. I also came here with a heart that aligns with these traits. Contrary to my expectations that there wouldn't be significant differences between their lives and my current life, there were flies buzzing around the food, ants crawling on the plates, and people naturally disposing of trash in the environment. Even the water was not clean. All of these could be factors that pose health problems, but in their lives, these things seemed to have become a daily routine without any apparent issues arising. However, considering that even a 1% possibility should not be excluded, I felt the need for a cleaner living environment and a better food culture.

Volunteering has the advantage of enabling mutual beneficial growth for both parties involved. As time passed, I found myself gradually improving in overcoming the countless language barriers I had encountered. By sharing my knowledge and skills with young children, I believe I provided them with an opportunity to learn a language from another country. I think it could be a time for them to grow as well. Furthermore, through the time spent playing together, even though words may not be exchanged, it seems that unforgettable memories were created for everyone as we laughed and shared moments.

The most challenging aspect for me was the concern I had before coming about the food and environmental issues. I had never spent such a long time, two weeks, in a unfamiliar place before, and attempting new challenges in a new space gave me a sense of apprehension. So, in the unfamiliar space of Thailand, I tried to find a stable place and stay only there. However, continuous stability makes it difficult for me to progress, and learning cannot take place. In fact, I may not have attempted many things, but the outcome of the attempts to challenge myself was a meaningful time where I not only experienced a change in my thoughts about food and the environment but also learned about their perspectives, values.

Finally, if my learning has predominantly taken place within the small society of school up until now, through this work camp, I gained a broader perspective on the world and learned to reflect on myself through respect for different cultures and their purity. With gratitude to all the connections made here, I conclude my writing.

오수정 Sujeong Oh VSA2401-3 Community Development/Home Stay - Songkhla 15-27/01/24