Preparing for Sports day 

By Ann-Cathrine Wagner; January 2023
InterCultural and Language project, RPK24 Phayao Thailand

Picture: Rajaphajanughok 24 school, Phayao

My school had Christmas/Students/New Year’s Day on the 27th of January. Since these events go all day and are celebrated very big, the director decided, it would be better to put them together into one event.

The plan was that every student should receive a gift from the school. In preparation for this Kru Nui asked me, if I was interested in going to Chiang Rai with him, to buy gifts for them.

We decided to make a two-day trip out of it. We drove to Chiang Rai on the 6th of January. Our first stop was a coffee shop known for its Albino buffalo. In the summer it turns pink because of sun burns. Sadly, we didn’t see the buffalos since they were grazing too far away.

Next, we went to another coffee shop Kru Nui had seen online. It was a beautiful house near a lake. We took some pictures of the café and of each other and decided to move on.

Kru Nui had told me about some elephants just outside Chiang Rai and since I had never been close to one, we decided to go there. The elephants were very impressive to look at, and I even got to feed them.

After visiting the elephants, we went to the first shops to start looking for gifts for some students. Sadly, we were unsuccessful, so we decided to go to the hotel and resume our search in the morning.

In the morning of the 7th of January, we went to the next shop and here we bought some toys, bottles, and small desks for the students to do homework at.

Afterwards we went to a pottery village. It was peaceful and beautiful to look at.

Next, we drove to Doi Tung. It´s a beautiful place in the mountains near Chiang Rai. You can see people wearing traditional outfits and take pictures with them. Furthermore it´s possible to go into a very beautiful garden. I enjoyed being here very much. After eating lunch here, we drove back to school.

Since the trip to Chiang Rai wasn’t very successful for buying gifts for the students Kru Nui, Alena and I went to Phayao on the 18th of January. We first drove to a second-hand shop, but since the shop didn’t have any toys, we left again. Next, we drove to a shopping mall. Here we bought around 100 stuffed animals.

This was not nearly enough for the around 1000 students. Kru Nui had bought some toys for the students without us and with the donations of some other teachers it was finally enough.

On the 27th of January the Christmas/Students/New Year’s Day was celebrated. Each department of the school had prepared something to present. Furthermore, each department had prepared an activity for the students. They had to do the activity and get it approved by a teacher. If they did every activity from all departments, they could win a prize.

There were a lot of shows and entertainment. For instance, Alena and I were judges on the recycled clothes competition. Each dorm had prepared an outfit made of recycled materials. One of the students from the dorm modelled it. They got points for the presentation, the sustainability, creativity, and number of materials used. The total was 40 points. My favourite was a green dress made by a female dorm. This dorm ended up winning the competition.

This day was very nice and entertaining. Especially because the students had some much fun and because Alena´s parents had come to visit the school for a couple of days.