Mae Kham Por homestay camp
VSA1807 - 1 Mae Kham Por Home Stay
Place: At Macham, Chiangmai ; 16 – 28 July 2018
By : LAURA
Today, 17th of July was our first complete day in the campsite. Firstly, we met at 8h to have breakfast all together and after we went to Ava's and Jenne's house to start knowing each other a little bit better. To do so, we introduced ourselves, age, nationality, jobs.... We also played a card game called Die Fiesen 7 to break the ice! After that we prepared the classes for the kids for Tuesday and Wednesday. It was very exciting to think all the activities that we can teach and do with the kids, I am sure it will be very fun! We prepared different activities like music and dancing, ball games and many more in order to teach them english through the games. Around 12h we had lunch all together, showing how to say "thanks for the food" in different languages. I think it will take some time to remember all of them! In the afternoon we did plenty of sightseeing! First of all we visited a temple, where people goes to collect water. After that we headed to the rice fields. That was the best part of all! The views were impressive over there. We could see how people was working and preparing the rice plants. We got there by truck, and the way was all about jumping and bumping! Bit scary but very fun! On the way back the people of the village prepared us a welcome ceremony. It was really warm and nice to receive that gesture from them. The ceremony represents the 32 gods that take care for the 32 organs. At the end of the ceremony we received white bracelets.
At the end of the day we gathered all together to prepare the last things for the classes and we played board games again.
All and all it was an intense and really surprising day! Looking forward for the next incoming days.
By : JULIEN
The day began at 7:30 am with a breakfast with exotic fruits and toasted bread. At 9:00 a.m. we went to a primary school to meet schoolchildren and to implement what we had planned as activity the day before by group of 3. Each group saw 4 classes in the day which allowed to vary the activities and games according to their level in English.
Everyone appreciated even if the fatigue was much more visible on us than on the children ..
It was a very rewarding day, humanly and culturally, surprising and at the same time so natural. We'll see what happens tomorrow with older students.
By : LAIA
Today 19th of July we met up at Orchid's and Nam's house to have breakfast. For me was a little bit weird to eat rice and chicken at 8 a.m, so I ate only a bit. After that we went to the same school than yesterday, to do our last class. I was scared, because I'm used to work with younger kids, no so older, but the experience was amazing. We took two classes in the morning and another after lunch, in the afternoon. The pupils were very cooperative, and I think they enjoyed the games that we prepared for us a lot! Everybody will miss them a lot! After classes we had free time, so we decided to go to a cafe. It's very close to our campsite. There we had an amazing cake and coffee, it felt like being at home. Afterwards we went to the hospital because one of our colleagues was not feeling well. Fortunately he is ok. As usual, at six o'clock we has dinner and at the end of the day we prepared the activities for the next week, because we are gonna join another primary school. I have to say that today it has been a surprising and beautiful day, over my expectations. After days like today you feel complete and better with yourself!
By : PAULINE
Today, the 20th of July, we woke up at 7:30 to have our Thai breakfast together at Orchid and Nam's house. Then a truck picked us and drove us to the bean fields, where all the villagers are meeting and selecting the beans together. This place is somewhere you can work and enjoy the company of the other villagers at the same time, so it was really nice to participate. I was happy because my Thai mum was there and it was the first time we did activities together. We came back to have lunch and then we moved to a house in the village where on of the mum sews colourful skirts and jackets.
Then it was just time for a little nap and we moved to have the cooking class at 2pm. We learned to cook eggs in banana leafs, rice lollipops and a very famous soup called Tomyam kung.
At 6pm we ate the soup we made with rice and then watched a horror movie !
By : ORCHID
21st July Sat, Today we planed to go to the elephant park. But unfortunately, the price is beyond our budget. So we change our routine to the Doi Inthanon National park. Only four of us heading together since some of our members have their own plan. The weather is cool when we start our journey. But when we driving in the jungle it becomes really foggy. You can barely see the way. And it is really windy and cold in the Yellow truck which no windows in the back. Pauline started to put her long trousers on . I also put on the long sleeve coat. But I still feel cold.
When we get off the car the temperature is 13degree on the top of the mountain. We struggle walking to the view point . The weather just freezes everyone. It is so lucky that in our desperate minute there comes a coffee shop. After a hot ginger tea or a hot cup of coffee we feel warmer. And it becomes an very special and unforgettable experience for us. We all are happy to be here in this bad weather .
Then the yellow car drive us to Royal Garden. It is such a beautiful place with different kinds of flowers. And there even a nice restaurant here. We had a good lunch before hanging out in the garden to enjoy the beautiful views. We saw Roses , Orchids, daisies …garden . This is really unexpected.
Waving goodbye to the beautiful garden the car stop in a quite remote place. Here are some houses for homestay. And the field view is full with green . We had some cakes and drinks by the river. This is the place only local people knows.
The best is yet to come. I can’t imagine I will have Sauna in this village. It is a very classic and traditional style sauna. Behind the wood house an old lady is burning the woods to heat the Sauna room. We wash and change to the local salon. Put our feet in a bucket of hot water with lemons and gingers. It is to release your tires. We go into the room when it is heat enough. I didn’t get used to it at the beginning. I have to go out and come in for several times. But Jenni stayed really comfortable with the hot temperature. She stayed the longest time while Nam started to fainting.
For dinner Ava and Nam decided to make noodles. We bought a lot fresh vegetables back. But they started to cook really late everyone was starving waiting for the food. Ava said the noodle will be amazing with her special sauce. That made us very high expectations. The reality didn’t disappoint us. The noodle was yummy though it was 9pm when we finished the dinner.
I should sum up as today is really unexpected. The beautiful moment always comes in this way.
By : NAM
Today is Sunday, 22 July which means this is the last day of the first week of the camp. I have to say that time flies fast. We did a lot of stuffs together in just one week. Different people from different countries gathered up to eat, work then became friends is a magical thing to me because this is the first time I went abroad and stayed in a very new environment all by myself. There was a little bit shy between everyone at first, but after a few days together, we're now becoming closer. Today we went to the local market with just five of us because some of them having another schedule but it was an unforgettable journey. We had breakfast a.k.a lunch at 9 or maybe 10 o'clock when we were heading to the market. On the way to get back to the homestay, we bought some clothes and Jenni had finally bought the passion fruits that she always wanted. We also went to the previous coffee shop to relax after a walking day in the afternoon and we teamed up with Nina and Julian there too. We had dinner at Laia and Laura's house at 6 but they came back at 7 o'clock so all of us didn't have dinner together at the last night of the first week. We all met again at Jenni and Ava's house to discuss things to do for the next week and it was really fun. Just hoping everything will go to its right direction next week.
By : JENNI
Monday July 23th / 2018, After the weekend we had to get back to business. Our morning started with a breakfast at Laura & Laia’s place at 7:30. We would be starting our next school activity phase with a completely new school which had no prior experience with international volunteers.
The school’s truck picked us up at about 8:15 and we headed to the temple we visited on our first day. Having school lessons in a temple area where monks live their peaceful life seemed like a totally crazy idea, but I think it ended up being quite nice (at least the setting was really unique). We were divided into the same three groups than last week and each group taught three classes. In the end we divided the students into two bigger groups and we had a wrap up of day by playing games and letting the kids draw about their feelings of the day. We really got unique pieces of art!
All in all the school staff seemed very happy about our efforts for the kids and we managed to make a good impression about volunteers in general. And the most important thing is that the kids were very happy and excited too. We just need to impress the school director tomorrow.
We finished the day at 15:20 and headed back home via 7eleven.
We had a dinner in Laura & Laia’s place and after that we went to practice our Macarena-moves for the flashmob planned for tomorrow. We also danced to some other gems like Spice Girls. With Orchid and Nam we were planning tomorrows activities a bit further and we ended the day with our beloved Jungle Speed (and with the german game where you count to seven) it was really a lot of fun.
Ps. Today I was on a motorbike for the first time in my life - I went to 7Eleven to buy cat food. I Survived and it wasn’t as scary as I had thought.
By : NINA
7:15 a.m - Breakfast is at Mae Som where Pauline and I sleep. Our mother prepared a Thai breakfast with rice, vegetable and chicken soup, pork chips and scrambled eggs with pieces of bamboo. Pauline will not participate in this day because she has fallen ill.
8:15 a.m - The whole group leaves by car to join the students.
9:00-11:30 a.m - school begins, we are three groups of three for 3 classes. Today we had the same students as the day before, we played new games (drawing, music, balls, skipping rope ..)
11:30 a.m - We are on the meal break, somebody brought a drink with tea and milk, very refreshing.For this meal we have rice, pork soup, fried pork, noodles with vegetables. We debrief on our morning, the whole group was happy with the children and think that this day was easier than yesterday.
12:30 a.m - We join our last class for one hour.
13:30 a.m - the whole group and students come together to learn the choreography of the macarena.
14:30 a.m - the children draw together all the highlights of these two days and we share them together. It's a very beautiful moment.
15:00 a.m - We leave the school, it is a moving moment.
15:30 a.m - Everyone comes home, takes a shower and we have free time until 18h.
18:00 a.m - The whole group joins us at Mae Som for dinner. At diner, we ate a typical Thai pad Thai dish.
19:30 a.m - We had the chance to do a Thai massage or oil.
By : LAURA
Today 25th of July we woke up really early at 3 a.m in the morning to go to a local market. We had to go that early because it finishes around 5 a.m People from the nearby villages go there to buy the food for the breakfast, reason why they go so early. We bought some food and came back to the village around 6 a.m, with two hours to recover some sleep before the breakfast.
In the morning we help collecting longan fruit from three trees. After that we had two hours left before lunch so I went for a run. Not everyday you have the opportunity to run surrounded by rice fields and so much vegetation.
After lunch we learn how to sew, make a pillow and a key chain. It was really nice to work with our mum!
At the end of the day we had dinner at Nina’s place and we went to sleep, we were all a little bit tired from waking up at 3!
By : LAIA
Today 26th of July we met at 8 a.m to have breakfast. After that each one went to their house to help their ‘’mae" to prepare the food for tomorrow morning, because we will go to the temple to ASALAHA BUCHA DAY. We did some sachets with banana leaves filled with rice and banana. We also did some flower decoration. After this work some of us decided to walk for a while and go to a ghost house, but we couldn’t find it, because we were walking in the wrong direction. Two of us were walking with flip-flops, so we decided to hitch-hiking (was really exciting, and I enjoyed the travel a lot, because was my first time doing it).
At 12 a.m we had lunch, and after we went together to another house from the village to do a basket. Anybody from the group could even finish the basket, but we had a nice time there. And Orchid met her future husband! We are looking forward for her wedding tomorrow at the temple! haha.
At 15:30 p.m the same four people from the morning tried to go to the ghost house, and this time we did it! We found the house!
At 18 p.m we met for having dinner. Tonight we had fish, so I was very happy!
At the end of the night we did the evaluation. Everybody shared their feelings and their expectations with the camp. Personally I think it has been really useful and rewarding to know how people feels about the work camp.
By : JENNI
Friday July 27th 2018This day was our last day together. We woke up before 5 o’clock to join the Asala Bucha day ceremony in the local temple. Our moms dressed us up in local celebration style and we headed all to the temple to do the rituals. First we decorated a joss stick with flowers and. Then we joined the ceremony inside the temple, that took close to two hours. We had to mimic people, since we didn’t know how to behave. We also brought sticky rice to the monks, we queued in a line and served a suitable amount of rice to a line of bowls. We also poured water to the trees of the temple.
After 3 hours we headed back to Ava & Jenni’s home to have breakfast. We continued our day by taking the truck to another temple (in the forest) where we would be learning about meditation. Staying silent and immovable is really difficult for me, so at least I need a little bit more practice. Some of us were able to control themselves better!
We drove back from the temple and headed to eat the final lunch. After lunch we started our journey back to Chiang Mai, almost two weeks in the Mae Chaem were gone by.