Myanmar - Inle Lake vol.2 (World Trip Day 64)
(Continued from my last post on Inle Lake) Our boat took us far to the second lake in the area. Our driver dropped us off at the bank of the lake and we had about 1 hour of free time to explore the villages. Most of the travelers don’t go as far as the second lake, so we were the only visitors in this quiet village. We roam around aimlessly, saw some small temples and some kids playing soccer. When we were about to turn around and go back to the boat we heard some kids’ laughters coming out from a small concrete house. Out of curiosity we went closer to see who was inside. A monk came out and greeted us with very good English. He told us that he opened this free holiday school for any kids who want to come to play and learn on holidays and weekends. He invited us inside, we told him we had some free time so we can stay for a while and play with the kids. He was delighted and asked us to teach the kids something.
The nervous Sadao sensei taught them how to draw Anpanman, へのへのもへじの似顔絵 and a Japanese song. I played Simon Says with them. They were very smart and we shared some fun time together!
Before we left, the monk thanked us and said, “Many tourists come and they think that the best way to help is to donate money to buy books and computers. Actually the best way to help is what you just did, to share what you know or simply just play with them. These kids are coming from different villages and different ethnic groups, but they are very smart and eager to learn.” Deeply touched we waved them goodbye. It takes so much dedication and kindness to do what the monk is doing, spending time and energy to provide a space for the kids to learn. I was embraced by happiness and fulfillment. Happiness is really a reciprocal thing, you feel happy when you make someone else happy. When we help others, we are really helping ourselves.