Here we are at the front of the class, picture well known of any volunteer, but without any idea to what to say. Let's begin the adventure.
Volunteer means first meet, meet other volunteers from different countries, indeed different cultures. Thus the first week was volunteer meeting from Czech Republic, France, Poland, Spain, Thailand... This is intercultural mix of habits, languages, ideas and humour. Learn to know each other and respect the differences, share nice moments with humour to create complicity and friendship. Our thai coordinators are dexterous cookers to mix and spice all this ingredients to obtain a united group.
We are now a group, ready for the new world : Thailand. We will share our joy, pleasure, amazement and also solitude, fear .. Every good and bad moment. We are more than a group, we are adventurer lost in a unknown world, only help by ourselves. We are building strong friendship. We are ready to discover Sabaï Sabaï ;)
Second week, after a short rest we are designated to help for an english workcamp in Chana, in direction of the Malaysian border. It means a slight change in the culture : Now Muslim culture is majority, and minarets appear in the city, given a oriental flavour of our first sunset with priest calls. Clothes change, women are asked to be reserved. but Thai smile is still here !
Our mission : Communicate in English with 120 children. We are 7 people with our coordinators and local teachers to help us. Mission : Find games and occupations to learn english with entertainment : Non formal education ! We are beginners and children are our experimental subjects, our activities aren't well understood each time but we are able to teach some vocabulary ;)
Second week in Krabi district
Our goal !? Find our next school somewhere in krabi district. Buy 2 mm mattress for sleeping, CHECK, Find a public transport to take 7 tourists with 9 mattress, CHECK. Find a delightful pink bus to Krabi, CHECK. Survive to 5 hours bus trip with Siberian temperatures, CHECK. Find our next Chinese & Japan volunteer colleagues, CHECK
We are now 9 in the group with the help of Mango, from China and Kohei from Japan. Both student, they are here only for 2 weeks, before the holidays ending. Integration, our priority, even if we spend a short time together, is well, and share a good party in which everybody is dancing la macarena and HAPPY in front of 300 people helps. And finally we laugh more about our humour differences than the joke by itself !
Local english teacher Pinii explains us about class, our future schedule and activities. My teaching skill is quite limited, the same for everybody in the group, but our volunteering spirit composed of help, perseverance and humour can move mountains (no big mountains in Krabi...). And our first class shows us all the difficulties to teach and communicate with young Thai students. In the other hand so much fun to share games, moments or just regards with our student. We don't have any obligation of result, and this is why we can serenely spend time with some student, play with them, be late on schedule..
After class we can have more times with students, and even if it is now the summer holidays, a group of children always comes back to help us. They ask for everything, they give a hand for washing cloth, painting, playing football or badminton. And school teachers bring us to waterfall, hot spring or diner, so much time together to discover Thailand !
Now our volunteering in Bandana school is finished, let's go forward for new exchange experiences, but we keep this first workcamp in our heart !