YOR ISLAND – THAILAND
am Vy from Vietnam. I took part in the work-camp in Thailand which was mainly about cultural exchange. During 2.5 months living there, I had the chance to experience deeply in Thai culture and got a lot of beautiful memories with local people.
What is the meaning of our project in Thailand?
The Institute for Southern Thai Studies is the biggest cultural learning center in Southern providing Folklore Museum and Thaksin Hermitage Art Service. The Institute located on the hill of Yor island, Songkhla with beautiful view.
There are so many visitors visit the museum everyday (except Tuesday –cleaning day) who are primary students, university student, local people, foreigners as well. The museum is also the place to organize a lot of cultural activities such as: cultural art exhibition, talk show with famous figures, cultural day for students and children.
As this is the greatest Southern Museum with whole Southern cultural academic service. The director and officer concluded to promote Southern cultural to be well known in worldwide. Therefore, it is very helpful if there are international volunteers coming and support for the institute also a teacher by intercultural and language exchange in the same time.
What did we do?
We work 5 days per week. On free day (weekends). We had opportunities to experience life style of local people and visit a lot of beautiful places in the province.
JOB AT THE MUSEUM
1. Welcome guests
The museum attracts a lot of visitors coming everyday including foreigners while the manpower who knows the English is not enough so it is very important to have international volunteers help the museum guide these foreigner visitor around the museum.
2. Support the events inside and outside the museum
There were so many events taken place at the museum which I can join in the stages of preparing organizing. It was very lucky for me when I had a lot of chances to observe how Thai people prepare and organize the events. I must say it was really interesting experience for me.
3. Cleaning day at the museum
This cleaning day is fixed on Tuesday for every week. All the staff of the museum will stay together and clean the items which were displayed in the room of museum. This job provided me the opportunity to touch the very old objects which normally visitor just watching but not touching such as pottery, handicraft, picture. This was also a good chance for me to get in touch with local staff here. They taught me Thai and I also taught them some English. Therefore day by day we can communicate and understand each other. We always have good time when working together. We did have a lot of fun.
4. Renovate another museum at the temple in Phatthalung province
It is always very excited when go outside for working. These days we went to a temple far about 50 km from Yor Island, the weather was very hot but we enjoying very much and we also had a lot of fun during working time.
5. Translate document
My mission was translating a document from English to Vietnamese about information of 26 rooms of the museum. Translating is quite challenged for me but finally after 2 months I finished this mission. Thank to reading the document so many times now I can remember detail of all rooms in the museum. Therefore this job not only helped the museum but also was good for me. I think with this translation Vietnamese people can understand easily about the museum and Thai culture as well.
*JOB OUTSIDE THE MUSEUM
Teaching at 2 primary schools
Ban Bow Ait School
On Wednesday of every week the teacher of Ban Bow Ait School came to pick up us at 8:00 AM. We started at 8
We went to Baan Bow Ait Primary School in a district named Kaew to teach English for students. The school is in a village quite far from the museum, about 30 minutes by car. This school, there is only 1 English teacher, and they don't have enough budget to hire more teachers come to teach English, especially foreign teacher. So I think our mission was really helpful here. We had 6 classes (1 hour/class) for 1 day, 3 in the morning (grades 1 2 3) and 3 for the afternoon (grades 4 5 6).
We also found some difficulties when teaching. Firstly, for the students we are foreigners, we cannot speak Thai, they cannot understand English either. Therefore, it was very difficult for us to explain all the things to them. We used all the skills & materials we have like body language, drawing, pictures, and a little bit Thai to make them understand. Secondly, we cannot use the same lesson for all the classes there. We had to find out the level of students in each class, and think of what we should teach & do to make students feel excited with the lessons. We kept changing the methods continuously. We played game, we sang, we danced, we taught them alphabet, nouns, verbs.
We found that students like drawing and painting so we combine these activities to make them feel excited with the lesson and then make them understand easily.
At the last day we also created outdoor activities for students to help them review all the lessons. All students played hard shared a lot of fun at that day.
Sharing day with students at Thaksin University
We were invited to the university to share about our countries Vietnam & Japan in front of students of economic class. It was one of my interesting experiences when doing volunteer here.