It has been a very exciting and eventful couple of months as Frontier's Assistant Teaching Coordinator. I have grown very close to many individuals in Nosy be, something that has made me eternally grateful I am part of the community team here.
Last Saturday started off just like any other. We got back from camp, and made our way back to the community house. As we were cooking breakfast the doorbell began to ring, as I walked to the front of the house I was greeted by ten members of youth club standing outside our front door. This has been the first time a member of youth club, let alone ten, have showed up at our house. After the initial confusion they stated they were in an "English competition" and needed our help for the day. We were to meet them outside of youth club at two that afternoon, about an hour earlier than we would normally meet for youth club. Of course we were excited about helping and quickly agreed to meet them, wanting to make it clear that we were impressed on a Saturday they were so eager to practice their English.
In typical Malagasy fashion we showed up promptly at youth club, only to have one person Damon sitting outside. Damon stated, "Mora Mora" a Malagasy word for slow, basically meaning it will happen eventually. As we waited about forty-five minutes for the rest of the members of youth club to arrive, we tried to get Damon to describe this so called "English competition." He would just smile slyly and say, "It is a surprise." Eventually everyone showed up and we headed off together to City Hall. As we walked up the steps I saw some kids that we taught English too at the local primary school. I waved and continued walking, thinking to myself that maybe they are a part of the English competition as well. We walked into a room to see a enough chairs set up for the Frontier volunteers, and the members of youth club. A big sign in Malagasy stated "Day of Youth."
It turns out that they had wanted to surprise us, and say thank you for teaching them English. We were treated to presentations by all people who use the youth club. There was dancing, break dancing, kung fu, poetry, and an English essay read. It was so inspiring to see how proud the young people of Hellville were to show off the skills they have learned at the youth club. I could not remove the grin from my face as I thought, how amazing these young adults were. Thinking how many people in similar situations would be so proactive, and willing to spend their free time learning. As Damon walked up to the front of the room he read two poems that he specifically wrote for me and one for teaching volunteer Zoe. Mine was titled friendship, and in that moment you truly feel appreciated. Days like last Saturday are the reason I am so passionate about teaching overseas, and I was thrilled that the volunteers got to experiences it.
By Celia Zermatten, Assistant Teaching Coordinator
Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Madagascar.