Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thailand YEP 2009!

here's little memories from my Youth Expedition Project in Phayakkappum Village, Mahasarakam Province in Thailand from Late May till Mid June. For 21 days, we shared pains and joy, cant really describe the feelings even now. It was very enriching and enjoyable. I miss you guys a lot yo!

Starring: the guys
 the girls

All of you go to work! lolz

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I remember vividly the very first day we arrived in Rangsit, a small town about 1 km away from Bangkok, then we had our first dinner and stayed overnight before moving up to Phayakkapum Phisai, Mahasarakan province at the north-eastern of Thailand. So basically we spent the 2nd day sleeping in the stuffy minivan as the journey was kinda long haul, took about 6-7 hours before reaching our destination. By a twist of fate, my friend managed to get this Church as our temporary lodging which is actually no far away from our construction site. The good news was, yeah, there were proper shower rooms, kitchen, changing room and etc. but the nightmare was those freaky huge bugs that we're gonna spend our days with! There were a lot of them especially after the sunset and in Thailand, sun sets very early around 6pm so the darkness falls right before dinner time. (oh maybe i have been used to living in the real tropics so it was kinda new exp. to me ). Upon dusk, you'll get to see crickets, praying mantis and bettle crawling & spreading all over the floors, the ceiling, the walls, and sometimes in our FOODS! OMG! the great thing was, the minimum bugs sizes you could see were at least 4cm or greater! too bad there wasn't any biology student in my group or else they could have done their specimen sampling over there :) There was another day that the school teachers served us Fried Butterfly!

Back to our work, we didn't actually accomplish our community hall due to time contraints but lucky we managed to cover up till the walls and so we paid the locals all the remaining cash to expedite the roof anytime soon. Before getting our hands dirty for the construction, we splitted our groups into two, one responsible for teaching English in 2 village schools and the other group in charge of the construction. The kids were so innocent and lovely, they were so happy to welcome us as they have never seen real foreigners before. Well, we played with them more than giving lessons. :) You know, there were lots of language barriers occured so what actually happened was we did a lot of chicken & duck talkings, showing gestures using simple Thai words. It was really mind-cracking ... :) and somehow we were taught basic shapes in Thai, like WongKlon for circle, Si liam pum pa for rectangle , WongWee for oval, so we fully utilized those shapes in explaining whatever we wana tell them, for example, saying WongWee to represent chicken eggs and WongKlon to tell them sit in a circle before having meals.

There were sweets & bitter during the constructions since most of us are Amateur, a lot of accidents did occur and the worst was a girl sprained her hip but thank God there wasn't any big deal after X-ray scanning. Due to our inexperiency, we seek professional instructions from Thai workers especially in digging the trench for the pad foundation as well as mixing & pouring the conglomeration ( cement and stuffs) before putting in the beams and columns. It was a hands-on experience despite gettin some cuts on my arms and leg.

Oh ya, there was one day that i realised we have been sleeping together with this Monitor Lizards in our rooms for 3 days consecutively. It was huge, around 20cm in leght, 8cm wide, with green skins and red stripes (quite rare species) and it invaded the male's changing room haha. So couple of us actually started this lizard-hunt and we got a video of it!

Basically, we spent our days teaching English in the morning, have lunch and 2 hours-nap (Thai custom) before starting the construction till evening where we would wash-up, then had our dinner , and moved on to facilitation ( sharing session which we did some bondings), and after all we had our free-n-easy time! They played guitar and drums so I have decided to learn from them :) Some would prefer Private Sharings (we called it HTHT- heart to heart sharing) under the lonely moonlight... till the clock strikes 12, and then we knocked out.

For the last few days in that village, we were re-arranged in 5 groups and had our Homestay with the locals. Me and friends went to this family whose working as farmers, we had to sleep early at night around 9pm and got up around 4am to help them planting paddy in the field. In the afternoon, again we walked around the village and guess what, i managed to borrow a Motorbike from the Village head so we rode around the narrow road with paddy field on our sides! it was so enjoying esp. the breeze in the late afternoon! And the kids taught us how to pluck Waterlily ( apparently there was a big pond of lilies) and we played around with our cameras (cuz they're so excited to see such technologies). :)
I felt so relaxing and really really missed those slacked lifestyle i had over there.... but not so much as i missed my Dear.

After all, we had our cultural exchange nigth where the villagers performed some Thai traditional dances to us and we do likewise. We sang A Singapore song and did some friendship dances with them, not to mention The Chicky Dance that was formulated for the kids! They love to dance! And Limbo as well! So we bid farewell to them and had our own Free-n -easy for the following 5 days in Thailand!

We moved back to Bangkok then proceed to Khacanaburi, a small touristic spot due West of Bangkok. 3 hours bus ride. I have to recommend you this nice spot, we stayed in one of the Back packing hostel, a floating hostel on the River Kwai, the view was spectacular especially when the sunsets. Since I was the only one with Motorbike license, i taught my fellow members how to ride the machine and we rented 4 motorbikes and made our ways due north to Erawan Waterfall which was 65km away from our hostel. It was really a nice experience for us. We've never imagine to ride a motorbike with 80km/h for 1and a half hour! Eventually we got pains in our ass! It became numb!

The waterfall was imposing, huge spot of clean waters with fishes in it, you could feel they were bitting on your body hair whenever you dip your foot in it. Well, it might be a good reflexology who knows!
We actually spent the last 3 days in Bangkok, the girls went to shopping as usual and for me, i did a small tour around Bangkok on foot since I had limited cash, so I walked around with my friends; we got a detailed map of Bangkok City. We visited the Chulaloongkorn University which is just located right in the city core, it was a good university with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. We went to the Architecture department as well but none of them understand English so our plan to visit the gallery had to be cancalled. Guess we have to brush up our Thai language soon so the next time we could converse well with them. Another thing i discovered was that the students have to wear Uniform even in University, and it resembles the Japanese high school uniform, just a different tone. White and  Black. The guys have to wear formal long sleeves and long pants while the girls dressings are pretty much liberated, in the sense that they could wear either long pants or skirts. Somehow, the university students look akin to Chinenese and Japanese, as they have a fairer skin.

ah..a pork broth with raw yolk i guess

you'll see huge buddha statue on road side sometimes  ..this is a temple..

one of the past times of the school kids are playing with these geckos..n feeding them with crickets..poor

view from second floor classroom

Majority of Thai are devoted Buddhists.. they make offerings to monks every morning around market area

so here's view from our resting shed..where we usually took a siesta

teaching art lesson

wei liang with kids

here's the teacher! Mr Dominic!

a good meal after a tired day

me n moomoo

guess what time is this? 6.45am! it's so damn bright!

me n chu hwai werent focusing... haha..

discussion with translators

Kids are learning simple ABC pretty fast!

Somewhere I'll missed.


Bangkok Hotels, Thailand said...

Very gook story... I got into your blog when researching for what people thinking about Thailand. This is the good traveling blog that make my last decision to travel in Bankok and some where in Thailand.... Thank you for useful post.

Desmonde d'Crinoline said...


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