As early as 6 years old, I knew I was going to be a teacher. Spending most of my childhood days teaching kids in our neighborhood was a big part of growing up. Make-shift classroom in one corner of our house and a written wall were a common thing around the house with displayed written words to be read and simple mathematical problems to be solved.

This early desire to be part of a much better picture in the future came into a reality when invitation to teach in an island came. Embracing such invitation to a mission school meant dropping off another offer to be in a promising and bigger school in the city. Yet, the eagerness to accept such call ina never known people and place (except the Dominican sisters) was absolutely exciting knowing I can take part in a mission where I may be able to share not just what I know but to share my faith and life with. Little did I know such mission was meant to teach me more about life than I could imagine. Doing what you are passionate about was rewarding but doing it with people for the right reason was beyond fulfillment.

Truly life in the island was not easy. I was faced with many challenges. To be away from my family with whom I was so dependent with my whole life was one and to deal with bunch of youth with different personalities was another. Adding to such challenge was the language barrier as the vernacular in the island was different from the one I was born to. There were a lot of fears within me that I needed to fight, so many frustrations and disappointments along the way but these did not weaken my spirit nor deter my will to go on as the promise of a beautiful mission was way beyond wonderful.

It was worth every sacrifice of going through bushes and mountains during home visitation each time a problematic or very poor student got to be on stage wearing a graduation gown to receive their hard-earned certificate of completion with pride and fulfillment. But above all, the lesson I have learned each time I made a mistake and wrong decision had shapen me better. For every little role I had, I developed the confidence which I never knew ever lived within me. And for all of these, I will always be grateful to the Missionary Dominican Sisters of the Rosary for the opportunity given to me to be part of the mission and to grow to be the person I am today.

– Rizza May Rebollos Ramos

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