First month in Thailand behind me so there is a time for the first blog post!
Everyday here was bringing some novelty. First impression when my plane landed in Bangkok was overwhelming hot (just said goodbye to Polish winter). Later literally every new step was full of examples of really different world. People are smiling much more; food, even if it’s names are hard to pronounce and is made of ingredients that I’ve never heard about them before is awesome; landscapes of tropical forest on hills are just astonishing.
The novelties came also with volunteering activities. Last month was divided for three big projects. First week (orientation week) we stayed in place near Songhla city. We were integrating and getting know each other. It was super time spend not only with volunteers from our Charger project but also with other ones and local coordinators too. For those couple of days we also visited our future schools, local zoo (project place for Marie, Misia and Jyri) and local buddhist temple. We also had possibility to learn Thai way of cooking (thank you Kanoon, Pack and Infa!) and got short introduction to Thai customs made by Tam. In our free time we saw a waterfall, we were bathing in the sea and went to a night market in Songkhla.
Next week was time for a next project. We went to Chana, muslim town in the south. Our main task was English camp for children from local schools. It was both great fun playing English games with them, and really challenging task - for all of our five (Rosa, Maciej, Greg and Alvaro) it was first time when we were teaching kids English (One little finger song will be our anthem) but I guess we did deal with it pretty well! Chana itself is sweet town with delicious food and charming people.
Between 13th and 24th of March we were living in Ban Din Na School in south of Krabi province. Lovely place where we did a lot of super interesting things. Teaching and playing English games with pupils (Fruit basket game rules), participating in Scouts Camp (dancing Macarena in front of scouts, their parents and teachers - I hope all of them had as much fun as we had), doing some constructions, fundraising in local market and painting some games for children on floor in front of the school (thanks money gained on local market we could buy paints and brushes, rest we donated to the school).
I found kids there really kind and cheerful - always smiling, ready to help us and truly interested in us. Also teachers and locals were so nice and supportive, they even took as in our free time to Emerald Pool, beach at Andaman Sea, Hot Waterfall and Saline Hot spring (sic!, maybe it’s hard to imagine but here in Thailand, with those 30 degrees outside there are hot springs, visited not only by tourists but also by locals. To the last one we went at 4 am but still it was mega hot).
At the end both teachers and students made special dinner for us with, among others, grilled fish and kind or traditional Thai crepes. Those two weeks were great also because of the time we could spend in rural place, somewhere between palm and rubber tree forests. We had unique possibility to have a look into „real” Thai life. We could see how does the mentality, way of thinking and living of people here look like. I’m sure it was important experience for me.
It was super time! Hope next months will be at least the same exciting!
Story and Picture by Jarek, EVS volunteer of Charger project