VSA Journal 

I prefer to divide this two-week journey into two parts.

I still remember twelve days ago, my friend Amei and I arrived in the quiet small town of Songhkla with a dazed face. To be honest, despite our physical and mental preparations, the hot, humid climate and the diversity of species (only means bugs here) challenged our mental defenses for those of us who had never been to Thailand before. —That is, until we met the kids. During the first week, we worked mainly with Irene and other Italian volunteers on environmental protection activities, when we were in a different school every day and met the children mostly on one look.

Nevertheless, we met a lot of lovely children who were curious to us, who had the shyness and excitement which is only for teenagers, and who tried to show their friendliness and welcoming to us in the most respectful way possible. However, I don't know if it was because I was still adjusting to the new environment or for some unknown reasons, I didn't feel very enthusiastic and loving for the first week. Maybe it was because environmental protection and upcycling was not my first choice of heart's desire compared to education, or maybe it was because I was frustrated by the constant greeting and goodbyes with the children. I would rate this week's experience a six out of ten, two from the Italian volunteers' sincere desires of loving the environment, two from the lovely children, and two for myself and Amei who are always on the positive side.

The second week of my experience left me feeling more excited than I have ever felt before. I cannot say how much I contributed to the volunteer work, but after resigning from the elementary school in the United States, this is the closest I have been to a podium and I am excited and thrilled to be a teacher again. There is a clarity in the eyes of the Thai children that I see as a thirst for knowledge, a curiosity about different cultures and a desire to explore the unknown. I love that they call me “teacher” over and over again and say "Hello" in Chinese to me, which is more precious to a teacher than any award because it shows that she is recognized and approved by her students.

My favorite teaching topic is Occupations. When I ask "what's your dream job?", the children's faces are so earnest with anticipation. It reminds me of when I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be a pilot, and then I wanted to be a lawyer after I got into high school. My dream career changed, but the pace of moving forward seems firmer because of the dream. The one I remember most was a sixth grade boy named "Gun" who wanted to be a photographer, but initially "photographer" was not one of the examples I gave on the board, and the word "photographer" itself is also a very awkward word to pronounce, but he learned it over and over again, followed my read over and over again, and took notes carefully in detailed. I look at his serious learning face. I believe that even if his dream job changes in the future, he will become an outstanding person.

During this week's teaching, we built a foundation of trust with the children initially. The teacher-student relationship is not like a blood relationship, it is the trust and support that makes the teacher-student relationship gradually sprout, develop and grow. It is hard to describe how I felt when I waved goodbye to the children in the last class, I just hope that the scene was engraved on my heart. I want the children to remember me, but I don't want them to remember me on the other side. I want them to remember that there was a Chinese teacher who brought them a week of joyful English teaching, who made them curious about life and multi cultures, and who supported them in their studies. One more time, I would like to say thank you and goodbye to the children and wish them all the best for the future.

Also, thanks to P Tum, P Que, and Floria, all these lovely people, VSA has the possibility to take root with you, and when the flowers bloom, the roots should not be forgotten. I wish you all the best, good health, live the comfortable life you want, and be satisfied.

All the best, 


Siyi is a Chinese camper in Peace Vilalge camp 12-24 June 2023