Normally I bring you stories of people who added something new to their daily lives, The mission of A Varied Life is to inspire people to add variety and not to change their entire lives around. However, sometimes a small change just isn’t enough and so – occasionally – I will bring you the story of somebody who did something radical. Today it is the story of my friend Jutta, who lived in Laos for 4 1/2 years and taught English in Luang Prabang as a volunteer.
All her life Jutta wanted to teach and part of her professional career was spent on doing just that. She taught computer classes and at some point run her own small business teaching seniors how to go online, create Word documents and generally get comfortable with using a computer. During a trip to Italy she took a class to become licensed to teach English as a Second Langauge. Little did she now that she would end up as an English teacher in Laos.
Her other passion is traveling. During a trip to Laos she spoke with many of the local people and found out how eager they are to learn English. Though the language is taught in schools there, it is mainly taught by Laotians who never had the chance to live in an English-speaking country themselves and are unfamiliar with idioms and sometimes struggle with pronounciation of words in the English language which is so different from their own tonal language.
After returning home she found out that she had been laid off from her job and everything fell into place for her. She sublet her apartment, packed a suitcase and booked flights to Luang Prabang, where she had spent some time during her travels and met people from the Lao Educational Opportunities Trust.
What was meant to be a few months working and living in Laos turned into four and a half years during which Jutta not only worked at the LEOT school but also taught monks and started a girls English class in her home.
In her interview Jutta talks about the challenges and joys of being an English teacher in Luang Prabang.
The direct download link is here
The permalink is here
Here is the link to the Lao Educational Opportunities Trust – LEOT