A Blog by Jack
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity
there is beauty and there is strength”- Maya Angelou
A Scot in a Cauldron of Multiculturalism
– My experience at Ardmay House
Many might ask how such a culturally inclusive and educational experience can take place in a location such as rural Scotland. However, with Loch Lomond and the presence of The Cobbler up above it would seem that inclusivity is more dominant than ever. In a time where it’s needed most.
As a seventeen year old with a long passion for entertaining children, I had long wished to participate in an opportunity such as this. Working with children from all over the world, taking part in various activities and embodying the spirit of inclusivity. However, no matter what you prepare yourself for the bond that is made living with such a diverse range of cultures is unmatchable. Before, the children had arrived it was clear that all of the staff experiences were wonderfully different and just as interesting as the next. Within the first few days I had already learned so much about future opportunities for myself whilst being educated about the fabulous experiences had by many before coming to Ardmay. A beautiful compass point for all cultures to meet and become one.
Undoubtedly, through a difficult decision, the best part of the experience was working with the children. Within my first few days of working at Ardmay, I smile incredulously thinking back, I woke the kids up to 9 to 5 which to my delight started a flash mob on the boy’s landing. A variety of children, different experiences and different languages all brought together by music. An event as small as this which truly makes me emotional and is certainly a summation of what is so brilliant about working at Ardmay House. Events such as these lead to the highlight of my career, being nicknamed… ‘The Musical Singing Baboon’ by a young child called Luca. Demonstrating the true amazing nature of being involved with an organisation with an aim so inclusive. As the weeks go on it becomes easier and harder simultaneously to say goodbye. A bittersweet moment of leaving some of the most amazing children yet comfort in knowing all the new children you will have the opportunity to meet. It is often said the best teachers impact their children for the rest of their life but it goes without saying that Ardmay allows such an opportunity that this experience is a two way street. I could go on to write so much more reviewing my own time there in such excellence. The Highland Games and The Ceilidh where I made sure to use the Scottish fat suit or where I played the role of a lifetime ‘Mrs McGowan’ in the murder mystery or even the simplest of things where two Italian boys found my various pronunciations of the name Niccolὸ hysterical. As an aspiring Primary Teacher, Ardmay equipped me with various skills ultimately making me into a better teacher for the future. These memories I know will last a lifetime and inspire me immensely in a time where people too easily forget the importance of understanding each other. That we are all one.
As I think of these hilarious experiences, swimming in the loch as if I were Ariel herself, belting out Emmenez-Moi with a boy way too young to know Charles Aznavour. I am forever grateful for what those seven weeks taught me. I would encourage anyone to chase these opportunities. You’ll never forget it.
Goodbye Ardmay House
For the time being….