Michelle Teh 11C – Chiang Mai, Thailand (Working with Children)
Our Chiang Mai visit to the Care Corner Orphanage was undoubtedly a period of learning and growth. Challenge Week gave us an opportunity to plan and make our own decisions as to what we wanted to achieve. We restored painted walls, contributed to building playgrounds, and planned activities and lessons for the children. These tasks were not as easy as we first imagined, but with feedback from our supervisors, we began to work together more efficiently and effectively. We grew closer as a team and lessened our ignorance of the world around us.
Later on, we traveled to the mountains to visit the Karen Tribe. We gained insight into the lives of young children at a local church and a kindergarten who are affected by tribal conflict. Many of these children did not even know how to speak Thai. We saw firsthand how the inequalities and the lack of access to education detrimentally affected these children. We learned to appreciate the simple luxuries we often overlooked, to make the most of the opportunities given to us for those who couldn’t. We brought toys and supplies for them, making the most out of our experience despite the short time we were there for. Getting to know the children and growing closer to them opened our eyes to a world far from ours, and we learned to be grateful for what we have.
Ending the trip with lanterns and sparklers, we concluded our fruitful journey, waving goodbye to the kids. We hope to be able to visit them again in the future.