I spent seven weeks in total volunteering in Thailand. Of the seven weeks at the Learn, Volunteer and Travel project four were spent teaching at the Hill Tribe program. The program is fairly new. On my 2nd week volunteering, it was also the first week the Hill Tribe program opened. I was very lucky to be the first group to experience the beginning of it. The program has no Wi-Fi which was nice and relaxing. The number of people in the program was a lot smaller than the others GoEco offered, which was easier to meet people on a personal level. I taught 4th grade all four weeks. Every night I would make lesson plans for the students for class the next day.
With my time with the 4th grade class, I was able to teach them colors, shapes, numbers, how to say your name, action words, body parts, family members, emotions, weather, days of the week, and months. It was such an amazing feeling how much the students looked up to me, always wanting to play and hang out.
Every time I would come back to the program weather it was two weeks in a row or a week break, I would always be exhilarated to see the kids again. The kids loved showing the volunteers their culture and everything it has to offer. The kids that attend this school, Palau-u, Naresuan Border Patrol Police School are very poor. The school provides school supplies, food, & a toothbrush to brush their teeth after eating. The school starts at nursery and goes up to 6th grade. Most classes have about 27 students.
During my time there, I was able to spend the night at one of the student’s villages and see how they live. To get to the student’s village it took about 45 minutes walking. The kids wash their clothes, body, and teeth all in the same river. At night they use a candle for light since they don’t have electricity. Meals consisted of rice, bamboo, and fish. The school is very limited on teachers, so when the students get the chance to learn they appreciate every second of it. Saying goodbye was so hard to say the least.
I got so close to each and every one of them. It didn’t matter the mood I was having, because the moment I saw the kids my mood shifted and everything suddenly was okay. These kids impacted me so much I made a Facebook page, Naresuan Border Patrol Police School Pala-u (www.facebook.com/givethemtheworld) to help them out. The purpose of the page is to raise awareness for these kids struggling and have people from all the world donate.