The experience from MPJ 2011
By Mint, Vietnamese participant
The word “journey” calls to mind adventures and exploration. Out of our own on the open road or water, characters must keep our eye on our destination. We have a mission we must fulfill. The mission is important enough for us to leave our home and everything familiar and venture into the unknown. And now when we reach our destination, we finally find wisdom to bring home.
Mekong Peace Journey 2011 (12-28 July) is exactly a model journey like that.
Honestly, before catching the flight to go to Bangkok, all my expectations of this training course is to travel and because this training is about Peace, it’s mean that I will have chances to go to some sensitive places which now still have conflict so that I also curious about shooting, fighting and want to feel something dangerous. All of these things are kind of interesting for a very young capital girl who used to live in peace and happiness like me.
But at the end of this journey, I can not get any of my expectations at all, everything changes, even I.
- What I’ll never forget When I’m long gone out of here It was a very blue and peaceful sky we all share together What I’ll never forget
It was the sound of silent when we try to understand our friends in the sessions of deep listening and inner peace.
The training began with deep listening with Ms. Auyporn. I was taught how to present, how to use body language, and many things like that to express the feelings and show off my knowledge many times before but it was the first time for me to be taught how to listen to others in the right way with truly respect and deeply understand. I can heard every single sound around me, and even the sound inside me which haven’t been heard for a long time because of the noise I made by myself. I also feel so confused when we played the game about identities. With that game, we had to reflect ourselves and answered millions questions to confirm who we really are. I see many of my friends who are so brief admit something belong to her/him that hard to be acceptable in our society now. That time I feel so moved because I knew my friends believe me without conditions and ready to tell me the truth and I can also believe in them, too. Besides, I have learned countless information that I could never learn from anywhere else. I liked the way Mr. Baht give us many examples from his real life, his humor in sharing his knowledge and many interesting exercises by doing role-play. He helped me to find the problem by myself and then encourage me to solve these problems by starting with small things near me which give me power to continue to go on the very long way of building peace. Moreover, I’ve learned a lot from my friends also. It is the youth spirit and the commitment that I can see and feel strongly from all my friends who want to change our world to become better, it is when Molika can not sleep because of thinking too much about what to do to stop the conflict, it is the brief presentation of our Myanmar friends to tell us about the hot issue of civil war and Naree’s tears when she talked about poor people and shared information about war injury of the villagers. Then, I have a question for myself: what did I do and what will I do to fix what I did before?
- What I’ll never forget Even for many years later It was the big brown eyes and the bright smiles of the children the fear of unknown future of the villagers And maybe the hope in hopeless also
I totally shocked and impressed when I went to visit the governor and the villagers of both Thai side and Cambodia side. It was the moment I deeply realized what really happened. The view of the governor and villagers is too different from each other. The fear covers the whole of the village, they scared of everything, even the bird on the sky can make them panic because they thought it was the bomb jumped in or some villager have made their own bunkers and they have packed their belongings to be ready to move anytime …The more I observe the more I admire the villagers because they are very optimistic and believe in better changes. The villagers in Thai side even said that they do not hate Cambodian and vice versa. So I have wondered millions times that what they fight for? What is the real aim of the governor?
Even though we had to live in uncomfortable conditions, I felt happy and excited all the time. Every moment in this journey is amazing for me. I thought I could jump for joy when I heard my host-family introduced me to their neighbor as their lovely daughter who came from Vietnam, though I just knew them for few hours and stayed at their house only for 2 days. I was speechless when all friends cared about others when someone got sick, felt sad … We gave others free tight hug and love as a family.
I remember that someone said to me: “Life is not a destination; it is a journey. Sometimes as we walk down the pathways of life, we become too tightly focused upon some part of the journey, and end up ignoring other parts”. So that MPJ is a small part of my big and long journey, and I pretty sure that it was very wonderful and unforgettable part in my life that I didn’t miss or ignore anything.
Sometimes, got the answer is not important as got a question to find the answer. MPJ is the example, because in this training course I did not receive any answers, but I receive something much more than that, it is the encouragement to continue wondering when I come back home. Like now, if you ask me what I have got in this training course, I just can tell you that: “Finally, I have a question for my life and also have inspiration to find the answer by myself”. I will not give you the correctly answers; because your journey is your own, and no one outside of yourself can tell you what you can get, where it should take you. Instead, I will travel beside you for a time, helping you learn ways to discover your own answers, and perhaps also helping you find new questions to ask yourself, so that you may shape your exploration of the many paths of life’s journey. My advice is that: “Try once, remember for-ever”
1. About the title: Language of Peace.
When we went to the village and stayed in host family, I met Koe – the guy from Media. Honestly, I didn’t talk to him much because he couldn’t speak English well. But I and Koe kept going together and felt very comfortable about that.
Then, Koe had to come back to Bangkok early and could not go with us to Cambodia; he gave me his diary and asked me for my contact. I am so curious, so I keep it more than the time to write my contact and try to read his diary (so evil myself >”<). Unfortunately, he wrote all in Thai, and I of course could not understand. Luckily, he has one page in English.
He wrote that he was very shy because he could not speak English well to me and our friends. But he felt very happy and comfortable all the time, because we always tried to listen and understand each other.
I felt so moved when I read that. It was the first time I thought about the definition of Language of Peace.
2. One more story:
At the end of the training course, I missed my mother tongue-Vietnamese so much. All I want at that time was to express my crazy feelings inside by Vietnamese and it annoyed me a lot. So, I was not in a good mood at all. Maybe, Sai realized it and asked me: “What’s wrong with you”. And I answer that I want to speak Vietnamese with him. Then, he laughed and easily told me: “come on, tell me, in Vietnamese”. I was very surprised: “How can you understand?”
“You can talk, and I will listen. I can understand you by the way you talk, the expression on your face, your eyes …”
So we deeply understand each other in the language of peace, no need to understand English or Vietnamese because we communicate in language of peace. I can not explain and express it well for you, please understand me by your heart – it is the language of peace.