By: Hnin Phyu Phyu Aye form Myanmar/Burma
Saying goodbye to my host family was one of the hardest things. I will never forget dinner with host family through the home stay. Every night we sat around the dinner table, in the same seats because of an unspoken agreement, and ate the most delicious meals. From that day on, I really felt that we were members of the family. We would joke at dinner, spend hours just sitting and talking to each other, and watch TV and play games with them. We also joined the TOASTMASTERS club with Karen very Thursday, it is a great opportunities to learn about the public speaking skills.
I really like the Ricotta Pancakes with coconuts oil prepared by Ms. Karen for breakfast. Tonight we cooked again Burmese foods and had dinner together. We played Chinese checkers game with family. I have never felt so familiar and comfortable in a situation before. The most enjoyable part of our days were sharing about Myanmar Culture as well as learning about the U.S Culture, playing game and watch the Voice show 2015. After having dinner, we went outside and howling together at the full moon for the best of luck of the month, but this is the own culture of Karen (our host) and very new experience too.
One of the great opportunities is we were able to attend the Conference “Defining a 21st Century Education for a Vibrant Democracy” at University of Montana. There were very interested topics and panel discussion by many professor, faculty and honorable person. I am really interested the topic “Education as the Great equalizer” by Thomas E. Perez, United State Secretary of Labor.
After the conference, we were visited to Lewis & Clark Elementary School, which is one of the International Baccalaureate School. The school principal Ms Susan Anderson, explained about the how school operation and gave us a tour around the school. I noticed that every classroom had pasted on the wall the creation and activities of students, their teaching method is interactive teaching style, no need to repeat the class whether the students pass or fail and many fun things for students. This is a lot different form our public school. However, I believe that the more we learn and exchange the knowledge the more we had spread the messages of how education is upgrading around the world. Because people likely to accept the changes from their communities rather than from other people/place.
As we been busy with individual appointments the whole day, our fellow Tammy brought us to the Carousel for Missoula to ride and have fun. This is my first experience for riding horse and carousel. Though it is exciting and I love riding carousel.
During our exchange program we are not only for learning and exchange knowledge but also built the relationship with professionals, host family, YSEALI team, fellow coordinator and made new friends. As soon as I get the chance I will go back to see them all. I would like to say and that is a big huge thank you to Ms Deena, Ms Kelesy, My Host Karen & Keith, Ms. Tammy and the whole exchange team, none of this would ever have been able to happen. It is something I will treasure forever. I will never forget my exchange to Montana, United State of America in 2015.
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”