July 2nd departure day, the Youthlinc Thailand July team got to the airport and said goodbye to our regular daily lives for the next two weeks. In just the next two days we faced about 21 total hours of flying and 18 total hours of layovers. One of the layovers was for 12 hours in Singapore. Here we were able to go on a tour and visit the beautiful country. Even though it was beautiful, it was extremely hot and we all definitely missed our air conditioners. Eventually we arrived in Chiang Mai, and were taken to the beautiful village of Bor Keaw where we would be staying the next couple weeks. Some of our rooms have flushable toilets and beds while others have squatter toilets and Thai mats. Its crazy the things you take for granted that you’d never thought you’d miss. From the other side of the world it is definitely easy to see how great we have it back home. In the morning, we got started right away on the work we had to do here.
We headed over to Mae Yang Ha School where we had our opening ceremonies and would begin our construction work. During opening ceremonies, the kids showed us some of their traditional songs and dances as well as a violin show. Immediately we all fell in love with their beautiful faces. Then, we had construction work, which consists of building a wall as well as a playground for the kids. We headed out to the back of the school to see what needed to be done. There was a barbed wire fence surrounding the school that we needed to take out, trenches to be dug, a cement wall to build, tires to be painted, and an entire playground to build. The highlight of the day, however, was playing with the beautiful children that we would be giving English lessons to for the rest of our trip. As we met them, the boys on our team threw the kids on their shoulders to play chicken fights while others rolled tires, played tag, and various other games.
As the beginning of the week went on, our committees took action. The vocational committee went to the sewing center where they taught the women there how to sew and make several products that they could sell provide some kind of secondary income for their families. The educational committee began doing their lessons for the children at the school while the business committee was giving computer lessons to the teachers and village leaders of the community. The health committee continued to plan for the health fair while the cultural committee organized our opening ceremonies and home visits as well.
It is true when they say that you will get more out of a humanitarian trip than the people you are serving. Just the home visits alone are proof of that. We were able to see where the people of Thailand live and ask them questions about their daily life. It was amazing to see how happy these people were with how little they had in comparison to us. While we were here missing our showers and our soft beds and our Wi-Fi, the village people were happy with the mats they sleep on, the water they get, and the home that they had. It’s only the beginning and already we can see what an experience this will be for all of us and how the beautiful country of Thailand will bless our lives.
For the Good of All.
Know the One.