In August, I joined Stepping Stones as a volunteer. Later that month, I joined a Stepping Stones rural tour, with 8 other volunteers to teach English to primary school children for a week in Lizhang Village. Lizhang is a remote, but beautiful village in the mountains. It was intriguing to have a window into a different way of life in China, the rural life. The school we taught at was a small local school, where the students had a strong enthusiasm to learn English. It was uplifting for all the volunteers to observe the close friendships of the children and to join in their energy and full-of-life spirit.
At the beginning, I was overwhelmed with the pressure of teaching a class of over 30 students with only one other teacher. I did not have much experience with teaching such a large class, but thankfully the children were respectful and their eagerness to learn increased my confidence, as we went through our lessons. This tour has definitely left an impression on me. I felt so lucky to be given the chance to make a positive impact on these children’s lives. Even the smallest of actions we provided as volunteer teachers made the children so happy, and that was a beautiful thing to see.
Besides the teaching, the tour was memorable due to the other volunteers. It was a new adventure to participate in an activity with people I had just met at the railway station on the first day of the trip. By the time we left on Friday, I felt like I had known them forever! I am very grateful to have the chance to join this meaningful rural trip with Stepping Stones. Working with the children in Lizhang Village will be an experience I will never forget!
-- Sabooha Richeux, Stepping Stones Volunteer, August 2016