Have you ever heard of Massot? It is a tranquil, beautiful city in Thailand. Everything shines with the sun in the blue sky. But when I look at people who live in there, I cannot but help shedding my tears. Massot is a border area near Burma and there are many Burmese immigrant people. Especially the Caren who I met in Massot were illegal immigrants. They are minor tribes in Bumese and its' military government do not give them enough support in food, education, medical care and so on. Many Caren parents cross the Moei river, natural border line between Burma and Thailand to give their children more opportunities in education. When I first waved my hand to the Caren children, they were greeting with their big, double eyelids eyes smiling. They seemed very happy although school conditions were not very good. Later, I could know how they could smile in those situations.
I went to the school in Massot on this summer vacation participating in school volunteer program. Diverse people from different majors with different ages gathered together for the same purpose that we want to give some real help to people in Massot. What we did were repairing the children's dormitories and doing some lessons. The volunteer team removed sharply bulged out bamboo and repaired it with more strong and safe timber. Finishing the work, we were all very proud of ourselves not because of the complement of the dormitory but because of the thought that we give a little but precious hope to the children. We also give math, art, English and physical education classes to children with local teachers. When I first entered the class and tried to say what I want, my tongue was useless and my head was blank. Children stared at my face with their clear eyes with curiosity. Because I did not know Curenese at all, I murmured with dynamic body language. Later, interpreter teacher help us stop using babbling. The children really loved all activities I did in class and had a great curiosity in a small thing. I looked passion in their eyes and hope as I taught them.
I planned to go to Massot to give my knowledge and energy. Like most people, I thoght volunteering is that one side gives something to the other side. But after I finished the all program I realized that volunteering is an interactive activity. It was not giving but sharing because I felt and learned so much from the children. Above all, their attitude to the conditions was really impressive. We often hear the sounds of complain from many people who are not hungry, have comfortable houses and well-organized and convenient school. 'What is the difference between them and the children?' This is the question I had at the first time when I met them until the last time I said good-bye to them. The answer is thankful mind for what we have although they are very small. I thought if we could give up our desire to get more and more something just a little, we would spend our lifetime more happily and meaningfully. I felt really great during this summer as I learned so much and gave so much.