The second week of my trip whilst not as epic as the previous was still packed full of fun and life changing experiences.
We went to the Hill tribes which was not some deserted island with cannibals that performed sacrifices. It was a perfectly normal remote village which even had a reception tower. Our guide said one of his groups even played Pokemon Go on their trip (which we greatly speculated, since Pokemon Go had not been available in Thailand when we went).
That week was much more a cultural journey compared to before. We had been enlisted to help teach the children at the local school English for a week and some renovations but due to a spontaneous Buddhist holiday (which seems to happen a lot) we ended up renovating for a majority of the week and having an English camp on the last day. Something I definitely preferred, the language barrier was very real for me.
We trekked up a crap load of stairs to get to the village’s temple and experience mass? (I’m not to sure what they call it) Obviously the whole ceremony was in Thai so I spent much of the time kneeling and quietly shoo-ing bugs off me. I did feel very rude but looking around most of my group was doing the same, one of them even feel asleep. So I was very proud I did better than him (but to be fair we were exhausted basically every day and the hymns were very soothing).
The kindness and warm welcome from the villagers was really something I won’t forget. I got given the nickname fish (no idea why … I think I was puffing my face subconsciously when she was giving out nick-names).
During chill time, I watched the boys race up a hill, we had struggled to climb only the day before to get to the temple. (Oh yes, it was a steep hill then an even steeper climb up the stairs). Which ended up in a vomit session by 2 and our guide assuring them that he trained regularly on that hill. (This didn’t go down well as he had false started, causing the other 2 to run the hill twice basically; but they were too busy controlling their gag reflexes to mention it at the time)
We painted the school’s canteen and visited a local fair type of event at a neighbouring school. I spent most of the day exploring (as I do) and a child thought I was looking for the toilet. So sweet of her to point me in the right direction but like I said the language struggle was real for me. We even accidentally walked into a sick bay (I wanted to get some rooftop views).
We taught the kids left, right, forward and backward. Luckily the kids seemed to enjoy our activity (judgement from kids is really unbearable) and I feel like we left a visible impact on the village. Despite our guide telling us not to feel disheartened at the small tasks we completed. He did emphasize that as more groups come through and help the school the impact will be more and more evident but I was really happy with the footprint we left.