Rheena Babanto

Partners In Mission

By Rheena Babanto 

Former Columban lay missionary Rheena Babanto now works as a college counselor at St Scholastica’s College, Manila.

We arrived in Korea in April 1997, springtime. I can still remember how bulky we looked because of our three or four layers of clothing to battle the cold Siberian wind. We spent nine months learning the language. During that period I went once a week after class to a kind of day care center in a poor area in Seoul. Children with both parents working are sent there for the day. I taught them English nursery songs. I remember the first time we met, they stared at me with amazement, telling me how big my eyes were. They often looked confused when I struggled to speak Korean. The fun the children shared with me made the stress of learning the language more bearable.