On the 18th of October 2017, I was on the plane heading to the Philippines. The air-hostess was demonstrating in-flight safety and I was cautiously looking at her in order to be aware of lifesaving myself in case of air crash. It was my very first time traveling abroad and second time of riding plane in life. I was anticipating in relation to the surveys that I had to conduct in the Philippines: who do I have to meet with, who do I have to interview to, and so on. Then I was suddenly paralyzed and felt uncomfortable to breathe because I didn’t believe in my English; I am not that much good in English.
“Huuu….Arlizabal Arlizabal” I leaned back in the seat, respiring deeply and whispering “arlizabal arlizabal” which is a word describing that “All is well” in the Indian famous movie called 3 Idiots. I couldn’t put up with panic inside me anymore, but I couldn’t shake it out permanently. But there was one thing that I could do.
“I faked it”
Yes, I faked it as if I was not afraid of anything. Then I fell asleep till the plane ended up to Manila International Airport. But I was lucky that I was not alone at the very first time to abroad. I was with Ko Zin Min Htike and Ma Nant May Thizar. We were contacted by a local Non-Government Organization known as COM in Myanmar, whether we could participate in Youth and Action in Program in the Philippines.
We continued our travel to the resort, which probably took about 4-5 hours from the Manila Airport, where the on-arrival training was conducted with other youths from around the world. As I remember, there were about 26 youth participants from Germany, Greece, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
All participants were divided into four groups and assigned in four different cities after 3 days on-arrival training. I was assigned in Vigan with Wiebke from Germany and I have been inspired by the experiences given by the City Government of Vigan. Marie and Aneta were assigned in Candon where is close to Vigan. So we visited them in our day offs and they visited us as well. I went through many incredible things in the Philippines.
When it comes to talk about the topic of this article, meeting with Marie, Lars, and Lea Maria was the starting point of meeting an another new dream. I did not know that Marie would have brought me a new dream that I had never dreamed of. Marie and Lars gave a presentation about International People’s College, at the final evaluation of the program, where they have studied and is located in Denmark.
They inspired me with their presentation and made me curious about IPC. Then we had an informal talk about IPC and they also asked me about Myanmar’s complicated issues while rolling around Manila after the evaluation. I thought that a story in the Philippines ended there, but it didn’t.
In December 2017, while I had been flowing with my jobs back in Myanmar, I got a message from Marie that she has already recommended me to the scholarship board. So I checked the IPC website and it seemed to me compulsive as there are special subjects that I ever wanted to acquire skill in.
Then I have got the acceptance letter from IPC on the 1st February 2018. I was in the meeting room with donor organization when I saw the email from IPC. I was shocked and couldn’t concentrate on the meeting at all. I got out of the meeting room at break time, then jumped and shouted “Yes”.
But I couldn’t believe that I’d be going to Denmark to study at IPC. Then I couldn’t fall asleep at nights thinking of a new start of life. I had already looked for the classes that I would like to take. Then, I couldn’t fall asleep again at nights thinking of what I could do after IPC.
So, I put my hands on the chest, closed my eyes and whispered “Arlizable….Arlizable”.