That day we finally set off for school. I heard from other volunteers that the road to school two years ago were very bad, they spent six hours to get there. But now it only takes four hours from Yushu town because they built a mountain road. It is really convenient and safe. The mountain road was built near the river. On our way there, the rusty red slush-like water, sometimes hurriedly passed, sometimes wide and slowly flowing; groups of yaks bathed in the river, and some grazed on the grass full of flowers, some climbed on the higher mountains and paced leisurely. Exquisite stone carved Buddha paintings on the mountains along the road and the five-colored prayer flags are raised in the wind, pinning with the sincere thoughts by the Tibetans. With the beautiful scenery on the way, everyone talked or took little nap, and the bumpy mountain road didn’t feel so hard.
Early this year, during the preparation for the activity, we discussed and thought about various scenarios and corresponding solutions, but reality is still beyond our imagination. Chueh-La elementary school located at Three-River-Source protected area, with its high altitude and remoteness. It is a boarding school with two hundred students from first to fifth grade. First, the school did not have a library or reading room. This time, DENER Children Foundation brought not only materials such as books and stationery, but also basic reading room management processes and rules for the school to use. More importantly, the introduction to reading clubs to the school teacher in an attempt to make children enjoy reading. Given its remoteness, the children could still learn about the world from reading.
When I learned that there was no library or reading room in the school for students to borrow books for reading, I was a little surprised at the time. In our children’s school, we have always encouraged students to read; yet here, there is no extracurricular books! Secondly, in Tibetan culture, the students respect the teacher very much and the teacher is put on a high status and feel distant from the students. In this aspect, under the leadership of the reading club, it would be more difficult for the teacher to let go of their habits and make the reading sessions more lively. Although we have some concerns about these, I believe we can still overcome them together.
A reading session led by the teacher was launched. As the ice-breaking game began, the shy students spoke nervously and their actions were tense. But by the end of the game, the children finally let go and laughed out loud. The kids looked with their innocent eyes at the teacher waiting for her next game instructions. When reading session first started, the student sat next to the teacher, they just take turns to speak quietly, however, as the session goes on, they become eager to speak and want to read more stories.
In a modern society with fast-developing information, I have seen too many people and things on the Internet that needed help. I was touched and wanted to give a little bit of what I can. But seeing is different from experiencing it yourself. The feeling is like a seismic wave slowly touches the depths of your heart; I thought about the school principal who took us to and from the plateau; thought about the school teachers who were too shy to express yet would respond to us with a passionate smile; thought about the innocent eyes on the little children; thought about the flowers on the mountains in the morning and the chanting of the sutras around the white tower; thought about the sunset glow outside the mountain
Volunteer teacher ~ Xi