Monday, September 12, 2005
Getting familiar with MEC
Yesterday was my first day at Tibet Charity Multi-educational Centre. On my way to there I have confronted by a woman holding a baby. She told that her baby was hungry, and if I could buy her child milk. At first I just tried to ignore her, but she was, as I say " All up in my grill". She just kept on hounding me and man was she working on me, so I fell in and brought her the milk. Later I come to find out that I had been scammed. That what the poor women with children will do is to have a gullible westerner (me) buy them milk, then they go to another store and sell the milk back. I been had. I was thinking "Oh, she can now feed her hungry baby". What I was told that if I really wanted to help to poor I should donate to a NGO like SEVA that helps the poor. Giving money to the street people doesn't truly help them as much as it can seem. So at the MEC, a teacher was sick so I was called in to take over the class for the last couple of minutes. There was about 20 students in the class and I told them about my life and experiences in the US. I was pretty nervous but I must get used to it eventually. The current teacher is leaving at the end of next week, so I will start sitting in on her classes and when she leaves I will take over. I am definitely nervous about that. Another part of my duties will be as volunteer coordinator, to make sure that the new incoming volunteers are straight away and to kept up on. I will also take take part in conversation class which consist of a class that is broken up in groups of 3 or 4 and you just talk to them. Yesterday I spoke with two monks, one from Drepung Loseling monastery from the Geluk sect and another monk from the Sakya sect. Their English was pretty good, and we had a good conversation about the aspirations of our lives. One monk wants to be a Geshe (PH.D of Buddhist Philosophy) and teach around the world. I also interacted with another group and we talked about Hurricane Katrina and the situation in New Orleans. The students have such a great desire to learn, so they catch things pretty quickly. They stay informed about current events. I find it a bit hard to explain the quirks and idiosyncrasies of American society to the students thus far. I guest that I just want to make sure I don't paint a too unrealistic picture of the US to them, for many want to go to the US.