Name: Clement Ching-y Lai
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Languages spoken: Cantonese, English (fluent) and Mandarin (advanced)
University: Mcgill University
Degree: Life Science
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching English in Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 4 weeks
Start month: May, 2015
Claim to fame: Clement has worked as a teaching assistant, and participated in a few volunteer programs in his community back home.
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to be a UBELONG volunteer because I wanted to participate in a volunteer during the summer break and UBELONG provides a thorough, yet affordable package for students to participate in. I have never been to south america and the fact that I can go there and teach children English, which I have done before and enjoyed, seemed to me a great opportunity to get to now the local cultural and Ecuador itself. I have heard good reviews of the organization and I am confident that it can provide an unforgettable experience for me to broaden my horizons.
What is your favorite memory?
My favourite memory is actually when we said goodbye to the children. The last day of school is bound to be emotional and the fact that the children showed how thankful they are and how much they enjoyed are teaching just warmed my heart. The children are asking us to sign on their clothes, talking to us with their limited English that they learnt, drawn posters that has meaning to the lessons.. all these gave me a sense of accomplishment and felt as if I helped them a bit in their lives and language skills.
What did you take from the experience?
This experience has been very rewarding and made me especially thankful for what I have currently. The fact that I have such an amazing education system remind me of the joy of learning Also, this volunteer trip reinforces the idea on how much I enjoy helping people. I have participated in different volunteer programs before and I enjoyed every single bit of them. I just love helping people and to be able to see a hint of thankfulness just makes me feel happy. This Ecuador Volunteering Trip is no different, I am very happy that I bring happiness and information to the children and I hope to continue to bring happiness to people around the world.
Tell me about somebody you met who impressed you?
I am impressed by how supportive the principle is to us. Even though a few of us do not speak spanish, she tried her best to explain herself and helped us in all the ways possible. Also, even if we committed mistakes, she would be lenient on us as she understands the cultural difference. She would try to explain to us what is wrong and tell us what we should do instead in the nicest way possible. For that, I am very thankful as it made out stay a lot easier.