Jenny from The Netherlands on Education project

I arrived in Peace Village on the first of July for my Orientation. After busy Bangkok I was really happy to find some silence and meet with a lot of lovely people. I stayed for only five days, because the project I chose was in Trang. Three years ago I travelled through Thailand with my family and I remembered Trang being a lovely city. That’s why I chose to go teaching at a primary school in Trang. I was supposed to stay there for six weeks, but in the end I only stayed for 2 weeks. I didn’t realize I would be the only foreigner there and I also didn’t realize the school would be so remote. The school was really in the countryside and with no public transport I was all dependent on my host family if I wanted to go somewhere. I felt really lonely in this place and that’s why I decided to go back to Peace Village. But nevertheless it was a good experience. The teaching was a lot of fun. The students are really willing to learn and keep on trying to have a conversation with you, although there English isn’t good enough for that. I think having a foreign teacher really stimulates the students to work harder, because English is really necessary for communication. The teachers were also really nice at this school.

They also kept trying to have a conversation with me and they were spoiling me the whole time with all kinds of Thai treats. In the weekend I had free time and one Saturday the son of the host family and I went on an island hopping tour. That was so much fun! We swim into a dark cave to find a pretty little beach at the end, so exciting! We also visited the Night Market in Trang quite some times. The son sells there phone cases and earrings, a fun experience.

So after two weeks I came back to Peace Village. It was strange but nice to see my friends there again. In Peace Village I also taught, but on three different primary schools; one on Tuesday, one of Wednesday and one on Thursday. It was interesting to see the differences with the school in Trang. The students in Trang were tidier and they listened much better. I guess because the teachers in Trang were stricter and also hit the students sometimes when their answer was wrong.

In the beginning that was really shocking for me, because hitting is forbidden in Holland, but it’s what happens on the countryside and you better accept it. The teaching in Peace Village was less formal and I played a lot of games with the students. We also did a lot of fun things during our free time in Peace Village. I’ve been twice to Songklha Beach, really pretty and great for swimming. The typical Songklha treats are also delicious. We also went kayaking, that was so exciting! We felt so often in the water and I also jumped from a high tree into the water. One day we visited the folklore museum and we went twice to Songklha Zoo. The zoo is really awesome! You can feed the elephant, see the Bird Show, watch the tigers being fed and there’s a water park, which is really nice on a hot day. And we also visited a lot of markets; shopping at Greenway market, good food at the floating market and eating insect and watching a famous Thai band at a market nearby Peace Village. I feel really satisfied with my experience in Thailand. I learned a lot about different cultures in Peace Village and my two week experience in Trang definitely made me stronger. I’m going home satisfied and happy, although I’m already missing my friends in Peace Village. Thank you for everything!

July—August 2013