Maria Fernanda Ramirez-梅莉雅
My name is Fernanda Ramirez, I’m from Mexico and in August I lived the best experience ever; I was a volunteer in Taiwan for six months, the people I met there I will never forget, everybody was very kind to me. I made the right decision in choosing the country where I wanted to go; but everybody asked me, why Taiwan? Because everybody from my country goes to Europe, I was the only one who wanted to go to Asia.
When I was in senior high school, I went to a school where I was forced to learn German. The teacher who taught me German was very mean to us, and one day she told me something that made me very angry. She said, “You must learn German because even if you don’t want to, you will work for a German”. Because of that I started to learn Chinese to prove to her that Germany is not the only option, and I also said to myself that I will never go to Europe.
In my Chinese class, my teacher used to make us hear a lot of music and most of it was from Taiwan and I really liked it. Since that time I knew that one day I would go to Taiwan. At the beginning, I was scared because I was the only volunteer from Mexi-co who was there this year. I was also scared of the food because I’m very spoiled – in Mexico if I don’t like something I just don’t eat it , the language was also something that scared me because Chinese is not an easy language, and the worst thing is…. I’m very shy! But now I’m proud of myself because even though I was scared at the beginning that didn’t stop me.
My project was in a junior high school, I just wrote that I’m very shy, so when I had my first class I didn’t know what to do as there were 30 students and only me in front of them. This is when I discovered that students are more intelligent than the teachers; when I came in to the classroom the students no-ticed how nervous I was so they helped me because every time I got nervous I started to speak very fast. So when they noticed that I started to speak fast, they told me in a nice way to speak slowly. Also when some of the students spoke and didn’t pay attention to what I was saying, a student shouted at them to make them quiet or a student translated when they didn’t know what I was talking about. All of this has made me confident and I think there’s a huge difference between the first time I gave class and the last one. I will never forget my students, they were so nice to me, I will always appreciate everything they did for me.
During the six months I lived with a host family I have to admit that in the beginning it was difficult because my Chinese were very little and they cannot speak English, but my host mother really try and my to and we started to speak in a combination of English and Chinese that helps me a lot and know can understand quite a lot, every time a friend of her come into the house and wants to speak to my in English, she say to him that I can understand Chinese but that he must speak slow to me and if I really don’t understand my host mother will translate in her combination of English-Chinese.
With host sister I spoke in English and I can say that we have a good relation, but I don’t see her very often or a lot of time because she goes to the school, with my host brother I didn’t talk because he doesn’t like to talk, I only heard his voice when he was in his computer and with my host father I talk very little but I like him he is very nice with me and is always smiling.
I’m so happy I decided to go to Taiwan, I met there wonderful people, that helped me a lot and all the things; now that I look back to the things I’ve been thru I can say that I changed, I feel more confident and proud of myself, because even though I was scared at the beginning that didn’t stop me.
Now that I’m back in my country, I can see how much I have changed, now I am more confident, I can eat more food or at least I’m not afraid anymore of trying new things and I really appreciate being a Mexican student… And another thing is that in Taiwan all my ICYE co-volunteers in Taiwan were from Germany so now I start to like German a little bit.