My name is Miroslav Madle, and this is my story In East Java, Indonesia.
HI, I’m Miroslav, 24 years old. I come from Prague, Czech Republic. I study finance at University of Economics. And I am volunteering in Indonesia.
If someone told me few years ago that I am gonna work in Indonesia, I would think he is crazy. Yet here I am, teaching children in small town called Pare.
So what happened?
I wanted to go to Asia but I didn´t want to be just a regular tourist who takes selfie with the tourist attractions, posts it on FB and go home. I wanted to live with locals. I wanted to feel welcomed and to be part of their community. I was searching for programmes which could offer me such an opportunity. Finally, I chose AIESEC and their volunteering programme Global Citizen. After that I had to choose which country will be my final destination.
My final choice was Indonesia.
You may ask why Indonesia. There were many reasons, such as complex programs, interesting and partly mysterious location which I haven’t visited before. I knew that Indonesia has many islands, diversified nature and that it is the biggest Muslim country in the world. The fact that Indonesia is Muslim country was two-edged. People in Czech Republic (including me) are very suspicious about Muslims and their behaviour. But I decided to forget about my prejudices and accept this challenge.
I think that you always have to leave your comfort zone, if you want to experience something really special. And that’s exactly what I did. I joined the eduACTion project in East Java.
I was always called “bule”
Which means white foreigner (with blonde hair) in Indonesian language. I was quite surprised when I arrived to Pare. Pare is really small and traditional town. And it takes a while to get used to it. Even though there are many English courses, people are always excited when they see stranger. Food, weather and bathroom were also very different in comparison with western standards. But time after time a felt more and more like local and now I can say that I feel really happy here. My host family behaved towards me like I was their own son from very first moment. And this behaviour gave me courage to deal with all initial difficulties.
The most encouraging impulse beside my wonderful host family that helped me adapt to a new environment were my students. I have to admit that I was quite nervous when I imagined myself as English teacher before I arrived to FLC. My nervousness disappeared immediately after my first lecture. All of my students listened my life story with such a big absorption and empathy that I felt I belonged there. I still got this feeling and I´ve never regret my decision to teach in Indonesia.
If you are looking for something new and if you want to have lifetime experience don´t hesitate and join AIESEC. It´s always better try and fail than do nothing. So defeat your fear and go for it.
I mustn´t forget to thanks all the people who helped me gain this experience. Thanks to ma family, thanks to my friends, thanks to AIESEC and thanks to my second family in Pare.