Thursday, 7 November 2013

GCP Trip: Kalasin Reflections

  I went to an overseas service learning trip from 28 October-1st November to teach English(For my group we had to teach them directions) to Thai students from a primary school. I was delighted to receive the news after the EOYs. I was looking forward to it for very long but the day finally came.

  28 Oct (1st Day)
  I had to wake up at 5am to get ready and head off to Changi Airport Terminal 1. Thank God that my Mom was there to send me there. After we met and made sure everyone was there, we got our tickets, checked in our luggage, took a group photo and headed off for departure. We had to transit at Bangkok before we flew to Kalasin. We had lunch first, then went to the hotel to check in.We then arrived at the school we were working with to teach the Thai students. We were very warmly welcomed by Kamalasai School with a speech by the director and a delicious dinner before going back to the hotel to wash up and go to sleep.
My roommate was very nice and we enjoyed sharing the same room and staying up to eat chips. (We brought a lot of snacks!)

29 Oct (2nd Day)
  I woke up at 5am local time to wash up and went down to the lobby to play cards with my friend. (Don't tell!) We then headed to eat breakfast in our own groups. After that, we went to Kamalasai School for assembly and introduced ourselves before going for a dry run with the Thai students from Kalamasai School. We had lunch and headed to a Cultural Centre to learn more about Thai agriculture and how they used innovativeness to create natural products with lots of advantages like coal from bamboo and natural oil. I am grateful that we could learn so much.

30 Oct (3rd Day)
   We went for the joint assembly with Kamalasai School again and one of us gave a speech to the school. We then went to teach the primary students with the help of the students of Kamalasai. We were very happy and energetic when teaching the first batch, but when the second batch came into the room we were exhausted, but still carried on teaching. I think we should give our all for everything we do, or it will not be fair to the students in the second batch. After a day of teaching we made new friends and after that we went to the temple to visit and look at the paintings there. We also headed for the Ancient Tree which is about a thousand years old! It was so big that they had to chop it into pieces to fit it into the tent. I have learnt a lot on the third day and I hope to learn more on the next day (And I did).

31 Oct (4th Day)
  I was looking forward for this day as it was the day I could visit a dinosaur museum. We first went to teach two more batches of students and I think we did a much better job today as we were expecting the second batch to come. We engaged them well and I think that our group did well to help the primary students learn about directions. Overall I am glad we did a good deed to come here and teach the Thai students English. After that we went for lunch at a restaurant and then headed for Sirindhorn
Dinosaur Museum. It was the largest museum in Thailand and I was very amazed by the amazing fossils in their collection. I used to love dinosaurs when I was young and could still recognise
the fossils. After the guided tour around the museum, we went to the excavation site where they found the most complete dinosaur fossil in the entire South-East Asia. After we took our photos, we went back to the hotel to put down our bags and went back to Kamalasai School for the farewell party. We were to perform an item and we chose to sing "Hall Of Fame" by The Script ft. will.iam. We went to eat our dinner and greet the Thai students before going up the stage to sing. We got lots of presents from the Thai students even though we were not their buddies and it was very touching. After exchanging Facebooks and taking photos, we said our goodbyes to them and some of us even teared.

I think we learnt a lot from this trip and all of us going for this trip have matured. I am very thankful for being able to have the chance to do service learning to other people. I  hope I will get nominated for the student leader role for our Level 3 GCP next year.

Sincerely, Xavier

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