Experiences

Thursday 29th August 2013
Klang, Malaysia

Dear staff of Men-Tsee-Khang,

It has been a great pleasure for me to teach you. I am very sorry to have left so suddenly and so early. I really enjoyed teaching and living in Men-Tsee-Khang and I wish that I could have stayed for longer.

I volunteered to come and teach because I wanted to help the Tibetan people enhance their knowledge of English language and culture, with the hope that you would more easily be able to spread knowledge of your own rich culture internationally in the future. Despite staying for such a short period of time, I hope that I have helped you to improve your confidence in reading, writing and speaking English, at least by a small amount.

During my stay I also learnt a lot from you. I am inspired by how hard the Tibetan people work and how strongly bonded you are, both in friendships and in families. I was also touched by your enthusiasm to learn English- it is such a difficult language but you were all determined to improve nevertheless. Most of all I am very grateful for your hospitality and warmness in welcoming me. I have never met such friendly and kind-hearted people.

When I departed from Dharamsala I did not have the time to say goodbye to everyone. However, I do not wish to say goodbye to you now. I departed in a state of emergency and suffered for many days because of a great loss from my family. Many people were saying ‘goodbye’ but Tibetan thinking has taught me that a better thing to say would be ‘see you soon’. And so in the future I intend to return to Men-Tsee-Khang either to visit or to continue teaching.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for this unique opportunity for me to share my knowledge of English with you, and also to learn a great deal from you. I do not know how I can ever repay you for your hospitality and gifts. I will always be very grateful for everything you have given and taught me. From now on I will work with the values which you have taught me, and with the ardour you have shown me.

Best wishes for the future,

David Wong

To the director of Men-Tsee-Khang, my dear students, and the people who made my placement a possibility,

I view community service as a duty. Given how fortunate I am to be blessed with opportunities and resources, it is only right for me to give back without expectation of reciprocation. It has thus been a privilege to teach at Men-Tsee-Khang for the past four weeks. I am proud to contribute towards the noble cause of helping Tibetans to become more connected to the world through English. Even though I am far younger than most of my students, I am very thankful that they treated me with respect, kindness and for being delightful to teach.

Dharamsala is a very beautiful place; the scenery is simply breathtaking. I have never seen such majestic mountains or such tranquil lakes before. Even so, the people in Dharamsala are more beautiful than the scenery itself. The people here are amiable and gracious; I am greeted with warm smiles everywhere I go, by staff and student alike. I have felt very welcome in Men-Tsee-Khang and I would like to put into words my sincere gratitude for the hospitality and kindness shown that made me, a guest, feel right at home. I have been continually inspired by the diligence, conscientiousness and enthusiasm that my students have shown in their endeavour to improve their fluency in English. As the saying goes, “There are many things to learn by teaching”. While I was teaching my students, I too, was learning at the same time; I learnt about the Tibetan language, about Tibetan customs and about Buddhism as a religion. I now understand the importance of protecting the rich cultural heritage that lives within each and every Tibetan and I find myself extremely fortunate to have been able to share the cause and make a meaningful contribution towards it.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for all the gifts and well wishes from the staff and students; words cannot adequately describe how grateful I am for all the thoughtful gestures. I would also like to thank the senior management – the director, the general secretary, Mdm. Kalsang Dechen and Mr. Tsteten Dorjee for helping to make this teaching placement a reality as well as a success. In the blink of an eye, my four weeks here has drawn to an end; I will be leaving with a heavy heart and might not return, but I hope that my memory and my teachings will continue to live on in my students. To sum, I wish everyone, especially my beloved students, happiness, success and fulfillment in all they do. Tashi Delek!

Yours Sincerely,

Kevin Teo
Medical Student
Trinity College, University of Cambridge
03/08/13 – 01/09/13

To anyone considering volunteering at Men-Tsee-Khang,

From March to mid-June of last year,I had a wonderful experience as a volunteer at Men-Tsee-Khang.
If you are thinking about volunteering for this amazing organization think no longer, do it. The staff are welcoming, friendly, and have a wonderful sense of humor. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a leader of and role model for this community and organization. His influence is apparent through the actions of the staff and students of Men-Tsee-Khang.

As a volunteer, I worked in the Body, Mind and Life department as an editor and audio transcriber, I edited a little bit for the Medica Materia department, and  worked as an English teacher in the evenings. Working in the Body, Mind and Life department was educational, the staff are gentle, wise, hard working and laugh easily. I am truly grateful for my experience at the Body, Mind and Life department.

As a volunteer English teacher I instructed three classes, a very beginning class, beginning-intermediate, and intermediate. The students were very sweet, kind,and some were a little bit shy, they were all adults that worked for Men-Tsee-Khang. Frequently students could not attend class because of work, however I had a few dedicated students which made my teaching experience enriching. I learned so much about Tibetan culture and medicine just by having conversations in English. Teaching English was really fun and the classrooms are light and airy with beautiful views.

I was so well taken care of that I felt spoiled. My room was really comfortable, I was right above the childcare center so I could see adorable toddlers on my way to work. I was feed three delicious meals a day and learned how yummy Tibetan food is. If I was sick I could go to the Men-Tsee-Khang clinic and be cared for.

Also because of the generosity of Men-Tsee-Khang and the University of Minnesota, I was able to attend courses on Tibetan Medicine. The courses were taught in English and were very informative.
Again, I am very grateful to have been a part of it.

I recommend volunteering for Men-Tsee-Khang. I had a delightful and educational experience.

Sincerely,
Roslyn Lehman