How long does it take to make a difference overseas?

Posted by weareelic on Dec 9, 2019 6:06:47 PM

It’s not uncommon at ELIC for our long-term teachers to spend part of their summer break participating in a short-term program in another part of the world. It gives them a new perspective and reinvigorates them for their work in their primary country. We recently asked one of our long-term teachers in Mongolia to reflect on a trip to northern Iraq. Here’s what he said:

I went, wondering if I’d be able to handle the Middle Eastern summer. I went, wondering why I was going on a summer program to Iraq when I had already gone to Asia. I went to a place far from Mongolia, far from the city I now call home.
That summer, in the middle of a July heat, I leaned up against a shaded fence at a schoolyard in northern Iraq. A seventeen-year-old boy walked up and leaned with me. Although we spoke few words of a common language, this had become his routine and it felt good to share in the leaning. Slowly, working the words out before he said them, the boy asked a question: ‘You… come again?’ ‘I don’t know, but I hope to,’ I replied. His next words still haunt me: ‘Me too… because… I love you.’ A week and a half is all it took to impact this student. A week and a half is all it took for him to impact me.


Stories, tips, and inspiration from across the world

Our teachers live in some really cool places! Through our blog, we strive to share with you what their lives are like as they live and teach overseas. Follow along on our journey and learn a few tips about living in a foreign country.

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