Mr. Chandler Meek-Owens from the United States of America volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in October and November in 2016. See his tour report below.
Never having left the U.S. one would think I would have a small culture shock, going to a third world country, but it was just the opposite. I felt as if I had been there before, like returning to a place I hadn’t been in years. I don’t know if it was the unbelievably kind people who would give their shoes to a stranger, or the organic food that cured me of IBS, but I felt at home; like my mother was just around the corner. When going to Mahawilachchiya in Anuradhapura, where it was much more rural, it became clear as to why I was needed out there. Not just to teach English but to exchange culture and art.
No matter where humans dwell, curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge is a part of the human spirit. I realized I’ve been taking my life for granted, because the children that I met truly wanted for what I thought was my right to receive. English is the world’s trade language. I was born with privilege that I can take anywhere. I was not only able to teach, but I learned more about the infinite potential we westerners forgot. For example when it was time for a snack, one of the boys would just walk outside, climb a tree and pick a fruit. No money involved. And like the tree, speaking English is nothing to me, so to teach it, in exchange to experience an organic lifestyle, is a cycle that should be standard in the current human condition.
I believe that Horizon Lanka is the type of program that will lead the globalized world into a new era of education. Mainly because using creative arts, culture, sports (unique to the volunteer) to communicate that infinite potential sparks original ideas and interests that keeps our world engaged in each other. Yes, science and math are important but to independently think for oneself requires the creative mind. As they say, “give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
Chandler Meek-Owens – The United States of America
The dance items Chandler Meek-Owens choreographed and take part in at the Rainbow of Cultures” – Horizon Lanka Mega Concert – 2016.