It was a precious experience
I have a lot of obstacles teaching in Japan. Except for well-motivated students who are double schooling, most of them can find no enthusiasm for what they are encountering every day. During the trip, I wanted to see how people in hard conditions try to learn at school.
By: Kenta Ynoue
First of all, I was enrolled in the icebreaking workshop. Preparing two hours of training each day was not an easy task but it was an ideal opportunity to try activities that I used at my school in Japan and learn how teachers from other countries teach. It was helpful that four internationals including me were in the same room. Because of that, we were able to discuss the materials beforehand and take a look at them from many points of view. Students were so enthusiastic about learning English. In our workshop, we played some games and did activities to make students comfortable. It seemed they knew the necessity of practicing English.
When it comes to safety, it was a safe, reliable and secure trip. Local students escorted us everywhere and translate our languages. Even on the weekends, they made enjoyable schedules for us.
Furthermore, when we had a Wi-Fi problem in the flat, they came to fix the issue regardless of the time. Thanks to that, we had a comfortable internet-connected environment throughout the camp. The accommodation was great. Four of us stayed in the same flat and each of us had our own room. The biggest security problems I faced in this trip was my personal mistake of where to keep the luggage on the field trip.
I had heard that Hebron is one of the most disputed places in Palestine. Small amounts of Jewish people live among the Palestinian majority. I saw random restricted areas divided by wires in the middle of the old city. Those are the places where the largest displacement by the Israeli government occurred. There was a moment when the internationals and locals had to take different paths. Then we mistakenly went out from the wrong exit. That brought us a necessity of going back to the restricted area through a checkpoint. Passing the gate was an unforgettable moment. Israeli soldiers took each of us for about five minutes of interrogation. It took one hour in total for all to be completed. I experienced how discouraging it is to face checkpoints in corners of Palestine.
It was a disheartening moment for me to face the fact that the refugee camp, which I visited, was not the biggest and that there are still 18 more in the West Bank. The tenements are hardly insulated and that brings people no sense of privacy. I hope one day they will enjoy the right of having a tidy environment.
It was a precious experience to spend time with people enthusiastic about making something good for somebody. What I learned was, not only the history of Palestine in detail, but also the heartwarming personalities and strong will of its people, to learn and gain every single drop of essence of something new.