Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Last Day in Hinthada... and I was Asked to Give a Speech!

The fact that the training took place at the DMTC had nothing to do
with it being a disaster. It just happened to be a ministry facility that
fit the needs of the training. I suspect there will be more gigs
like this in the future.
As the students gathered around the front steps of the Disaster Management Training Center, taking selfies and pics of one another, there was a buzz in the air. It was the last day. A grueling 15-day, 6-hour per day training session was almost at an end. The last day of school is still the last day of school no matter what the context.

A couple small language lessons to give, a long review of the last bit of the class, one final progress test, some one-on-one interviews, and we were done! Picture time. Here are some of my wonderful students.

Then it was off to the closing ceremonies. I suppose it's the same with all government agencies everywhere. Ceremonies are very important. What made this one unique for me is that I was
Me delivering my first speech in some 25 years.
approached in the afternoon of the last day and asked if I would deliver a 7-minute long speech as part of the ceremony. I still had teaching to do at the time. Sure, I said, I could do it, although my preparation was nothing more than a few scribbled notes I made during our final coffee break.

Jack begged me to make some kind of Trump reference in my delivery. Some mannerism or phrase that only we would get. People tell me that English language training is hugely important. Very important. Believe me. Something like that. I resisted his prompting.  

The ceremony ended with gifts for the teachers (mine was a shirt which I really doubt is going to fit my big belly), and the students bowing with respect to their teachers. This is an old Buddhist teaching about students and teachers, and it has carried over into the secular world. Not the first time I've been bowed to. 

Enjoy my cheesy speech....



I thought I was going to retire there. I was the senior staff member. I'd been there longer than anyone. It. Is. Not. Fair.  But on the ...