Dear Future Intern,
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, and you have been selected to teach in the Thai-Myanmar borderlands, you are in for it. Working as a teacher at KSDC school will require the best version of yourself; this position must be treated with sincerity and respect.
There are no words descriptive enough to relate to you what it is like to be an intern at KSDC – you will find this out almost as soon as you arrive. What I will provide is 6 pieces of advice (one for as many months you are there) which you may heed if you wish, or not. I was an intern for only a 3 month period and I suggest that you take that into consideration. Though, I received this advice myself, and I wish I had referred back to them more regularly.
Here they are:
- Stay humble. Use this time to put aside your personal goals, serve the community, and empathize with others.
- Relish the discomfort. This internship will test your wherewithal – take it all in and get stronger as a result.
- Keep a lightheart. This is easier for some than others but make your best effort to smile and laugh even when things are dreary.
- Say “yes” as much as possible. Say yes for the sake of others – you’ll have more opportunities to leave a positive impact.
- Disengage regularly. This internship is intense. You’re out of your comfort zone and it is a poignant situation. Be a gecko on the wall from time to time, so to speak.
- Wash in the river with the students. This is a significant bonding activity that builds trust and encourages play.
In the future, I know that the few months I spent at KSDC will, despite the challenges I faced, be some of the most memorable and fun moments of my life. What is most memorable for me now are some of the most formidable and kindhearted people with whom I have ever been acquainted. More accurately many of them are my friends and I trust that they will be your friends too when everything is said and done.