A holiday is meant to be spent somewhere, to enjoy solitude and serenity after a fast-paced month. Probably rekindling romance with the road for recluse running or solitary sojourning – sweet spree to rejuvenate an almost restless soul.
This post is actually part 2 of the previous one: August’s Awesomeness Overload. So if you haven’t read it yet, you can pause, click this article and take time to read: August’s Awesomeness Overload
In retrospection, July culminated with the gracing of a private Christian school in Imus as a speaker for a nutrition month celebration. Prior to the event, I’ve got an invitation from one of the AUP Administrators to teach ESL to Mongolian medical practitioners (four doctors and an OR nurse). The only relevant medical experience I had being a health advocate was my medical missionary endeavors during my late teenage years. I’ve undergone some significant crash courses. Being a healthy buff runner was another factor.
Ptr. Max Cadalig, the Director of AUP Advancement Department connected with me on the last week of July. It was a very short notice. I sensed the urgency of the need, and I told him I would pray about the invitation to teach. It’s actually an extension of the ESL Program with the 13 medical practitioners, eight of them went home already. So, only five of them stayed. The timing was perfect because I just ended private tutorial classes with some Koreans (summer season). When I accepted, he endorsed me to Dr. Enkhtuvshin Upton, the Director of Upton International Institute of Education (UIIE). Our first meeting was unforgettable, I admire her for the heart of service for her fellow Mongolians and their motherland.
Within the four years of teaching/tutoring ESL to Koreans, I’ve gained exquisite experiences. While imparting knowledge through teaching and facilitating SAT, TOEFL and TOEIC preparation/reviews, patience and perseverance paved off. It’s on and off tho’, since our family had been in great crucibles and I had other responsibilities. I’d been to some English Learning Centers/Academy for Koreans, and did mostly private tutorials. Freelance teaching had been more convenient since I used to juggle freelance writing and other business ventures. I’ve found it fascinating to travel in between, bring my work anywhere I was called for: ministry, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. But it’s really exhausting sometimes.
Actually, I wanted to take a break, and just focus in freelance writing and my current business venture. But it’s just surprising how blessings poured. I thought teaching the Koreans this past summer (until July) was the last.
With the challenge to teach Intensive English Communication for Medical Practitioners for 8 hours a day/5 days a week, I sought more of God’s grace to sustain me. Teaching Koreans and Mongolian Professionals were two unique experiences. Provided with Oxford ESL materials, I found it really thought-provoking. The CD for listening class was in British English, my medium of communication and teaching was in American English. I needed to slow down most of the time, and repeat and explain more, since most of the Mongolians are in between basic and intermediate level. It was pretty exhausting during Fridays, but it’s worth it after all.
Passion and Perseverance
The most exciting part of our classes were the practical stuff. Free talking, discussions and outdoor activities which made a great bond among us. It was quite exhausting for us to study intensively since we had very limited time. We’re able to finish the English File – Intermediate. The other book was too technical, they will just continue studying it at home.
I really admire them for their eagerness to learn, humility and simplicity. We’ve developed good friendship in a short span of time. It’s rewarding to have been appreciated for my service, as well as for the quality time spent with them. But the cherry-on-top was the improvement, they can communicate better and the confidence was evident. Before, they’re a bit timid and were very conscious to speak in English. That’s the greatest reward for me, our efforts yielded through the Master Teacher’s help.
Moreover, the spiritual impact had been really remarkable. They’re all Buddhist, and it’s really enthralling to have seen their delight to adapt and adjust with Filipino culture, and Christian culture. The Adventist University of the Philippines isn’t exclusive for SDA students, and they felt at home. According to them, they liked the worship services at the dormitory (Cattleya Dorm), the songs were nice, and they even requested me to sing some songs. I sang “That’s the Love of God” & “Blessings” (the rest love songs), and explained the goodness and fairness of God. They agreed that we’re all God’s children albeit we differ in culture and beliefs.
One Friday afternoon, the gynecologist asked me, “Teacher, tomorrow is Happy Sabbath, right…why Sabbath?” (We greet each other Happy Sabbath in church on Saturday worship). I was surprised. I never expected she would ask me about it. So, with the rest of the students, I had a very short Bible story on Creation Week and the authenticity of the Bible. We had always started the class with a prayer. There’s no problem with them, although it was only at the latter day someone asked why we always end the prayer with “In Jesus name, Amen!” It was a bit hard to explain in the simplest way about the God Head: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
The Mongolian medical practitioners loved their stay in AUP. They’re happy to have witnessed the historical AUP College of Medicine Inauguration on August 9th. They also visited Adventist Medical Center (formerly MAMC and Manila Sanitarium). There were a lot of new friends who made them more at home, especially Ma’am Ainee Sansano who hosted them on their last month, and had been of great help throughout their stay. Parting ways was not easy. But of course, episode like that was part of the sojourn in the Philippines. The farewell dinner of delectable delights at Ma’am Eunice’s home was memorable too!
I look forward to meeting them again. If not in the Philippines, hopefully it would be in Mongolia (super bucket list! Haha). I just wish I could visit them, and learn more about their legendary heritage, the legacy of the Great Genghis Khan, and their extraordinary culture.
A holiday is meant for an outdoor adventure. But rekindling romance with my blog made my day. Perhaps, I’ll just wait for another holiday to do something more rewarding. More likely, my next wandering.
© 2015 LAF