Saturday July 14, 2018
Good morning from Thailand! Late yesterday we welcomed the final students to our program and everyone had a good night’s sleep here at Home Base! Yesterday was a full day of visiting temples, learning how to properly greet one another in Thai, relaxing at a local city park, and taking in all the sights and sounds around the city center of Chiang Mai. The group finished the day with an interactive tour of a food market, followed by a Thai cooking class (we made Pad Thai, Spring Rolls, and Mango sticky rice with Butterfly Pea to color it a beautiful blue and add some sweetness). Once everyone got together at home base, it was clear we were all exhausted and decided to call it an early night.
Already this morning, we’ve had our breakfast which included pancakes and eggs and lots of pastries, plus some traditional Thai breakfast items from the buffet! We’re now off to market and then a fun lunch spot on the lake….more about that tomorrow, so stay tuned!
With warm greetings from all of our staff here at “In & Beyond”,
Lexi, Rein, and Mark
Sunday July 15, 2018
We spent a good bit of today preparing for first day in the class room! It began with a bit of shopping in a really unique street market to pick up a few clothing items to wear at the elementary schools–skirts & shoes mostly. Following that, we had an interesting lunch at Huay Tueng Tao which is a very beautiful reservoir at the foot of the mountains, with expansive views all around. Some brave students even popped a couple dancing shrimp in their mouth! It’s a local dish of, you guessed it, live “dancing” shrimp!
After lunch, we arrived back at home base with a couple hours of free time. At 4:00 pm we had Mr. Todd come to share some tips on teaching English to the local Thai children. We then had our very first dinner circle recapping the day and giving each other “props” for all of the great things we’ve seen and done so far. Finally, we ended the day by preparing for tomorrow’s classes, creating lessen plans to engage the children. We can’t wait to see how all of these creative activities–songs, games, vocabulary drills–impact the local kids. It’ll be a fun week, to be sure!
Here’s to the start of a new week, a new adventure, and new challenges! Next, hear from a couple of our students on how they experienced the day! -Lexi & Mark (international staff)
Hi everyone! Today we woke up for a nice breakfast in the hotel buffet line, as we do each morning. There were eggs, fruit, pastries, rice, and cereal. We headed to a clothing market afterwards to get any last minute clothes we needed for teaching. There was also a great food market next door! 🙂 After that, we went to the most beautiful lunch spot on a reservoir. Some of us even ate jumping shrimp that some of the locals gave us! We had some down time at home base before we listened to a guest speaker named Todd tell us about our teaching days coming up. We prepared for our lessons with small groups and will be teaching tomorrow!
-Your Leaders of the Day (Dylan and Hailey)
Monday July 16, 2018
Today was absolutely incredible (as always). Going in the classroom overwhelms all of us with such happiness seeing the students’ smiling faces. One of my students does the “I love you sign” with his hands in sign language. This student in particular is so sweet. I am always receiving hugs from him as well as a casual hand-hold when the class is done. The learning environment in Thailand is so different than what I had imagined; the kids are so incredibly respectful, kind, and hardworking, and they make teaching fun for me as well as for my teaching group.
We work hard to plan out lessons for them, and everyone in the teaching group has an opportunity to share their ideas and creativity. So far, being with the students and being in the classroom is the best thing that I’ve gotten the chance to experience. We are really growing as leaders with our mentor-leading groups at the end of each day, as well as coming up with hours worth of lessons for the kids. Today was so fun and so successful! The kids showed improvement as the class progressed, they had a lot of fun, and we had a lot of fun. We do our warmups where we sing a song, presentations when we talk about weather, and practice when we play games that related to the topic we learned. Seeing the kids and being with them is a life-changing experience, and I hope that we are changing their lives too!
-by Parker Lynch
Tuesday July 17, 2018
Today, July 17th 2018 was so fun, and personally my favorite day so far. Today we got to go Muay Thai boxing! I know that everyone had a blast and I would personally love to do it again. We all learned a lot of different boxing techniques. My co Leader of the Day, Parker, and I did a local interview with the owner of the gym. We asked him when he started Muay Thai and he said he’s been boxing since he was 12 and used to compete, and then he decided to stop competing and became a personal trainer. We all had lots of fun, and I even got a small video of me boxing!
-by Devan Summers
Wednesday July 18, 2018
Today was our third day of teaching and things went very well! Relationships with the students are growing and it’s great to see how they progress. We also had Thai massages today. They were painful but in the best way possible and I would definitely do it again! We also celebrated Devan’s (Summers) birthday today with a pool party and cake. I am super excited for what’s to come and look forward to continue building relationships with the other future leaders.
-by Megan Etter
Thursday July 19, 2018
Saw-wa-dee ka!! Happy 18th Birthday Devan! We started the day off on a positive note with a birthday song for Devan and a delicious breakfast, featuring the continuation of Lexi’s egg saga (trying to get her egg order correct on the breakfast buffet). After a fulfilling day at the school teaching adorable Thai children, we went to experience genuine Thai massages. Immediately after being relaxed with our massages we went to Rimping Market to get snacks we all wanted. After dinner we had cake and a pool party in the rain and finished the night off with “BIG” talk (not just small talk:).
Friday July 20, 2018
Today we went to our schools and had a great last day of teaching English to our students. After we got back to home base, we planned for Friday, our last day being an English camp with the kids at our schools. We are so sad to leave the kids at school but so far everyone is having such an amazing time teaching the little kiddos. We also love hanging out at night and playing cards before lights out!
**Here are a bunch of photos from the past few amazing days in Chiang Mai (our Muay Thai class, wood carving, temple visits, teaching at the schools, our cooking class and a few others…)
Grace D and Ella C
Saturday July 21, 2018
Hey GLA blog readers!
Today was our last day with the kids at our schools. We put on an English day camp for the kids, which was so much fun. Our goodbyes at the end of the day were filled with lots of hugs, high fives, and even some tears.
After we got back to home base we all participated in a leadership activity where we collaboratively wrote our goals and aspirations for the trip. Then we hung out as a group during free time before having another great dinner at the resort. We ended the night by taking personality tests as a group to learn about what type of leaders we are.
The first week has flown by and we can’t wait to keep making memories and getting to know each other even better over the next two weeks.
Anathea Kordosky and Alexa Clark
Sunday July 22, 2018
Today everyone was excited to feed, bathe, and play with elephants at a jungle elephant sanctuary. We excitedly sat through a 90 minute bus ride outside of the city of Chiang Mai to arrive at the sanctuary. Upon arriving, we changed (putting on traditional Karen shirts) and grabbed bunches of bananas to feed to the elephants. It was fascinating to watch the elephants grab the food with their trunks, and for the more adventurous people, put the bananas straight into the elephants mouths. Before continuing to play with the elephants, the group sat down for lunch and had time to view handmade souvenirs by the locals. After showering at home base and relaxing for a little, we made our way to a local night market. We enjoyed our freedom to walk around and purchase dinner and souvenirs to forever treasure our journey. Overall, it was a day to remember and I’m excited for more adventures yet to come.
Love, Kiara Q.
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Today we had an eventful day. We started off by going to a temple and participating in a monk chat, where we were given a in depth look into buddhism and the way of life of a monk. And then we were given a chance to practice meditation with prayer beads before going to service. We continued our work in digging holes for septic tanks and then got to play with some of the kids that live in the orphanage.
-Morgan and Jasmine
Thursday July 26, 2018
Today was amazzzziinngg as always. We went to a Thai Catholic all girls High School where we participated in a cultural exchange!! It was so cool to see the traditional Thai dancers mixed in with some hip hop, followed by our iconic hoedown throwdown performance ;). I talked to one of the dancers named Mai & it amazed me how fluent in English she was! She’s been dancing her whole life & loves to preform on any stage. After our performances, we participated in a myriad of activities including a modified version of rock paper scissors & painting cloth bags.
Today’s my birthday & all the girls sang to me which was super sweet. After the cultural exchange we headed out to service to continue digging the four 6ft holes (for septic tanks) & playing with the children. A couple hours later we wrapped up our activities & went out to dinner at an American restaurant! The food was so good. We had nachos, mozzarella sticks, ribs, fries, pizza & birthday cake! Down below there was another street market where we spent an hour shopping & walking around. Night markets never cease to impress! Thank you to everyone who made my birthday amazing!!
-Caitlyn Wagner 🙂
Saw-wa-de ka! Today was a heart touching day as we spent the day with kids from the orphanage for the last time. We kicked off the morning with perfect eggs for Lexi and spent the morning playing with the kids at Baan Praporn and having lunch there, too. In the afternoon we went to a water park called Tube Trek with some of the kids and had lots of fun, laughing and screaming down the slides. After dinner we wrapped up the day with a couple hours walking around the Saturday night market and continuing to buy souvenirs.
Sunday July 29, 2018
Hello from Thailand!! Today was a mixture of exciting adventure and relaxation. We started off the day by heading into the jungle for our two hour zip lining excursion. We zipped, jumped, and repelled! Then we headed back to home base for some relaxation time and a leadership activity about our personal mission statements. We later went to a night market and bought some cool souvenirs and had some Thai street food.