When you arrive at Hpa-an, you would immediately feel the hospitality and friendliness of the locals: they are truly kind-hearted people who are very willing to share their lives with you. Even I have been back to Hong Kong from my service trip, I still have been keeping contacts with many of my students.
It was a very eye-opening experience. You could definitely experience a cultural difference in Hpa-an — from food, clothes to interactions with people and their everyday lives. To name a few, there is no bus and very few cars — students would ride a bike or motorbike to school (and that is what you do too!). Running into people that you know in a city in Hong Kong is like a miracle, but in a small town like Hpa-an, you could easily bump into one of your students when you were having a meal in a restaurant, or going to the only supermarket in town.
Students there are very eager to learn even though they tend to be a little shy but most of them would still try their vest to talk to you in very limited English that they know and that was the point of time when I felt I really was obliged to help them improve their English.
Once-in-a-lifetime means there is no second chance but this is NOT. Because I am definitely going back.
– Alvin Ho joined the English Teaching program in Hpa-an in summer 2015.