It feels like only yesterday that you all stepped off the plane and piled into vans eager to immerse yourselves in Thai culture and chat with your new friends. Your excitement was palpable and you really did face your coming adventure with open minds and big smiles!
Your first day began with some insight into Thai history and the culture of Chiang Mai. This new information facilitated an understanding of where we were and set the scene for the rest of your experience. We explored the city and put on our chef hats (maybe in the form of some fish slippers) during an incredible evening cooking class that rounded off Day 1.
After a jam-packed first few days of name games, green glass doors, and consuming new foods (durian, bamboo worms, and mega spice sauce included), we jumped right into school. Teamwork was the name of the game and school preparation began. After an exciting first day of trial and error, you all found your groove and taught with confidence and creativity. To round off our week of teaching, your skills were put to test with English Camp, where you upped your creativity and had a great time solidifying the lessons you had been working on with your students. Let’s not forget our time at recess where the same kids would find you everyday to play games, sing songs, and giggle a lot! The connections you made with your students were strong and unique, we know they will never forget you!
A highlight of week one was definitely the intense basketball tournament that took place during our Cultural Exchange. Our players fully embraced the humid weather and came out with a victorious win after an excitingly close game. The students at Sacred Heart were so excited to meet you all, and the shared experience of getting to know one another through events like Thai dancing and dessert tasting was one that everyone loved.
Our second week was also full of adventure! We explored Wat Phra That and Doi Pui on Doi Suthep mountain, painted traditional umbrellas, received Thai massages, and ziplined through the jungle. Let’s not forget the AMAZING time with the elephants too! We were lucky enough to give hugs to a one-month old baby elephant and had lots of fun splashing both the elephants and each other in the river.
Saying goodbye to each other was difficult, but lifelong friends were made here at Tianna and your experience in Thailand was unforgettable!