I have been in Missoula for more than two weeks. I feel time is going so fast because I am enjoying single day. I am ensuring that these learning experiences will be one of my life changing experiences. I would like to say “Thank you so much “with my whole heartfelt to The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S .Department of state and The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center for giving me this opportunity. I have learned a lot relate to Civil Society Development every single day because of well-organized program plan. As Mrs.Kelsey mention every activity is not accident, Yes it is true that every activity planed thoughtfully. My whole experience so far has been absolutely amazing! 10 out of 10. I could not have been more fortunate. The people I’m surrounded by at host organization United Way Missoula, my host family – Mr. Arnie,Mrs. Debbie , Miss. Dinna, Mrs.Kelsey and just in general the people of Missoula are very inviting and warming.
I have spent time with United Way Missoula for the first week. I am very fortunate because a chance to work with Miss.Susan and the lovely team from United Way Missoula. Every single one of them has been helped me to fulfill my principle learning goal. I would like to share some of my learning experiences which I can use for my country to create better society in Myanmar. The first one is “collective impact “. I am so much impressing the culture of collective impact of Non-Profit organizations in Missoula. As a one of third world countries, we are facing a lot of challenges to meet the culture of collective impact (working together to make sustainable development in society) . I will make sure to initiative the culture of collective impact when I go back to my home country, Myanmar. I believe that the more we can work together the better result we will do for our community. Second one is the culture of women empowerment activities; I have met more than 20 women who are initiator of women empowerment program in Missoula, Montana. I have awesome ideas for my project through our discussion and I have learned that everything is connect each other’s and we can’t only concentrate only one activity if we want to make positive social change in our community. Example, if you want to change the social structure, you can’t only work for economic growth. We have to concentrate on every aspect of edge through parenting to food security.
I would like to share some of amazing experience from home stay. It has been a week with Mr. Arnie,Mrs. Debbie and their daughter Miss .Katie. I and Tho are very lucky to stay with them. Although we got the chance to meet with them only 2 weeks, they will be in our heart forever because of their kindness and love. we have learned the lovely culture of not only American family but also mindfulness of American people. We arereally close to our host family and will be very sad to leave them. They are very supportive and accepted us into their lives straight away. My host sister is incredible and was so very helpful. We feel as if we belong in the family, not just an outsider." There will be one more adventure because we will go out for Wildlife watching and will cook dinner for our host. These wonderful experiences made our exchange perfect.
Being here and experiencing a different culture, a different lifestyle, and a different language has changed my perception of life. I am so much more aware of the world now, and when i get back, i can’t wait to pass on all of my new knowledge. I have only one more thing to say, and that his a big huge thank you to Miss. Dinna, Mrs.Kelsey , none of this would ever have been able to happen without all the hard work from you guys, so thank you for giving me this chance to experience Missoula,Montana it is something I will treasure forever. I promise that I will apply all my new knowledge to meet sustainable development in Myanmar.
Htet Htet Aung