Volunteering In Colombia
In my spiritual journey of discovering who I was and what I was capable of, a great opportunity showed up as they tend to when you least expect them. We stopped at a local liquor store to buy some cigarettes for my client, as I get out of the car I notice that there is a group of people speaking english. Mind you, I was currently in Colombia for 2 months and where I was at very few people speak english. Of course I was surprised and excited, I wanted to ask the obvious question, "Why are you here?"
Come to find out they were a group of nomad friends that travel to different countries building businesses. One of them was currently volunteering his time teaching english at a near by village. For some reason, that sounded like the best idea ever. I was born in Colombia but lived all my life in the states, therefore, going to a high school and getting a glimpse of what it would be like fascinated me.
I got the information I needed and in less than 3 weeks I was hoping on a bus to travel 45 minutes into a small village to meet the school and the kids. I remember being nervous yet excited and curious on what was going to happen. I was assigned my own classroom and instructed to only talk english, in matter of fact the kids were not allowed to know that I spoke Spanish. This made things very fun, you can imagine the things these kids would say when you don't think you understand.
My role was to instill leadership qualities, teach them the power of self development, and plant the seed of entrepreneurship all while teaching them english. I loved it, it pushed me to be creative and really engage with the kids on a different level. I got the opportunity to see these kids go from no english to engaging with me in conversation and seeing them walk around the campus with a dictionary so they can talk to me during class. It was an incredible experience and after 3 months the training and development that I got in return was phenomenal.
Working with these kids I picked up on certain patterns that they emulated when it came to learning and getting engaged. I learned to inspire kids to want to learn english rather then feel obligated to learning something they have no interest for. I learned how to teach a group of kids in a different language that they do not understand and encourage them to make it fun.
I got an opportunity to train some of the teachers on the fundamentals of leadership and empowering their students to want to grow without the use of force, but rather inspiration. Did multiple trainings on patience and the power of it with these kids and how to earn their respect but most importantly, their trust.
Needless to say, this was an extremely humbling experience.
Have you taught any classes in a different country? What was your experience like?
Below is a quick video I created for the kids.