Until I became a graduate, I had no knowledge of the saying “Education does not mean any academic degree but knowing how to overcome the challenges”. Experience is a heartless teacher. Sometimes it teaches tenderly but it does harshly at other times.
The purpose of Nyein is down-to-earth; to nurture the future leaders. It provides youths with some trainings. It empowers them to go to rural community to learn more intensively (Sometimes I am proud of being a fellow as a scholar). Harsh experience makes some people ruined while it makes some others improved. There is no kin or acquaintance of mine at the village I went. The inhabitants speak different language. Besides, it was the village I had never been before.
At the beginning, the elderly were not impressed with me since I am a youth. They thought I was frivolous. However, it was only a matter of time before I learned their culture and way of life. Dealing with the local community members was not an easy matter. One could get ejected if he/she did something they don’t accept. The village elderly take pleasure in recounting their past experiences. It was an opportunity for me to establish a good relationship with them. Very often, their stories contain noteworthy information and knowledge (e.g. history of their village). They enjoyed listening to my comparative analysis between their past experiences and their contemporary social practices. Lessons in dealing with the elderly provided me with theoretical knowledge of persuasion as well as practical use of it.
Learning about different ways of living, livelihoods, and cultures, in real life is more fruitful than the lessons I learned during my student life. I was able to build trust and intimacy with rural community members by sharing knowledge and bringing expertise. There were issues and concerns in their community. I witnessed that the ways to address these issues and concerns lie within their community. I found some of them useful for my personal development. Therefore, I prefer the times with challenges to the times without them during my stay in the community. So that the objectives of learning in rural community will be fruitfully achieved. Accordingly, the period I was able to pursue knowledge and value in rural community was the precious moment of my life. Despite time constraint, I was able to share and learn. I am always proud of being a fellow.