By Cho Phyu (Burma/Myanmar)
The time fly very quickly. We are already 3 weeks in here. And also home stay period is nearly to finish. Everything is very technical and new things for me. So I’m trying to fix with new environment such as foods, weather, people and so on.
In this week, I visited to Big Sky High School and Willard Alternative High School to learn about education system. Those two schools are public schools. When I compared with our schools in Myanmar, it’s very different such as education system, teaching methodologies, classrooms, teaching & learning materials, and professional development for teachers and so on. The one thing I want to highlight is, the school provide free education to all children even high school level. And also the student have chance to choose the subjects or majors what they want to study. In our county, if I want to study in public schools, I have to pay for entrance fees, exam fees and so on in every grades. The worse thing is the matriculation exam system, just 30% students passed and almost the rest are fail. So the students have to re-attend for the new academic year. The student who failed, some can continue if the parent can support but mostly drop out and work for their family income. Nowadays, the tuition is very popular in each grades. The parents send their children to tuition for extra study even though the children doesn’t need. Because the teacher get the money from tuition and there is discrimination between the students who attend the tuition or not. That’s one of the bad things that we need to change in our education system.
In this weekend, we visited to “Yellow Stone National Park” because of “Toastmaster International in Missoula”, one of the men gave a speech that “Yellow Stone is greater than Glacier National Park”. He showed the nice pictures and explained about that park. And then we really wanted to visit there. Fortunately, our host family arranged for us. We spent 2 nights for trips. When I arrived there, I saw different wildlife such as American Buffalos, Elks, Mountain Goat, and Swans. The hunting season start and I saw some hunters and fishermen around the river. I didn’t see too much wildlife because they might know that this’s the hunting season. But there are a lot of geysers. I wonder that how the trees can survive around the geysers. I see a big geyser in the park, it appears around about 10 minutes later. So all the visitors sit and wait to see that. There are very nice places in that park. When I compare with Glacier National Park, I don’t think that there will be too much different. Because those parks have different kind of natural beauties.
Today, we have also a nice dinner. One of the friends of Karen invited us. They’re so friendly and asking about what we’re doing and our country. We have chance to share our current situation of Myanmar. We have very delicious foods and nice deserve with Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie. Keith who is our host family make Apple Pie which is very delicious. But I like both. What I notice is they talk a lot about something else during eating and make a joke. That’s a little bit different with our country. Mostly we don’t usually talk a lot during eating. When I was young, my Mom always said that don’t speak during eating and be quiet. For me, I’m getting familiar with this culture in my environment.
I would like to say “thank” to Keith & Karen because they treated very nicely and arranged everything for us. I feel like our home and I won’t forget those happy moments. I do inspire both of them. That’s incredible for me to meet with them.