“We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected, that which we are willing to touch… service [is] the work of the soul.” – Rachel Remen
Sometimes, I wonder if there’s actually any service in service-learning or if community engagement/international development work actually does anyone any good. Then, I remember that it is not about “doing good” or “helping.” It’s about service.
My time so far in Peru is proving to me that there is service in service-learning and working collaboratively with communities towards the greater good. My first week with the Light and Leadership Initiative is over and I’ve gone from observing/co-teaching to head teaching. There’s a great responsibility that comes with teaching children- no matter where they’re located around the world.
I’m teaching English and find myself remembering how it was taught to me (I hated grammar), discovering things about the language I didn’t realize until I had to teach it to someone else (example: I’d sounds like “eye-d” + a whole bunch of other rules we break when we speak that are hard to explain), and worrying if I’m doing a good job.
It’s only been a week and I’ve only taught seven classes, but I can tell the work matters because of the random hugs I receive after class to the tune of “Miss, Miss!”, by the enthusiasm in the way my students raise their hands or slap the table during flash card games to review their lesson of the day, and the concentration evident during reading time. (One of my students saw me in the street yesterday, ran up to me to the tune of “Teacher, teacher! Miss, miss!” and proceeded to give me a huge hug and kiss. My heart pretty much melted.)
A desire to learn is the same in every country and I’m honored to be of service to Peru’s young minds. PS: Stay tuned to read about and see what the rest of this month has in store! 🙂