The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Gandhi
When I expressed interest in volunteering somewhere during my time in Thailand, the Speights were quick to have me join them in their weekly teach English lessons/love on children at a local village.
Baan Ao Kung literally translates to “Village Bay Shrimp”. It’s a small Muslim fishing village on the northeast part of the island and most everyone in town makes their money through the fishing industry. The Speights’ hook-up is a local lady who was able to facilitate a meeting point and get kids to show up.
As with most things in Thailand, there’s nothing set in stone. We show up around 5pm (though even that varies on a weekly basis) and stay for about an hour. Our agenda used to be: play games, teach English, sing/play guitar, and have Bible story time, but it has since changed slightly. The second floor classrooms are located on the mosque grounds, but we seem to not be allowed to sing, play guitar and tell Bible stories there anymore. At least, that’s the vibe we’re getting. So we’re now splitting our time between playing under the tamarind tree, lessons on a whiteboard leaning against the truck, and the classroom if/when we need it.
The Speights have been going to this village for the better part of four years, so it’s a shame things are slowly starting to change. The kids love hanging out with us, and it would be sad if we stopped teaching them English.
It wasn’t too hard for me to get excited about playing with little Thai kids. Over a few weeks, I somehow ended up taking over the English lesson planning. When I asked how I can possibly prepare lessons for 10-42 kids aged 5-16 (!), I was told, “Pretend they don’t know anything.” So we started from the beginning a couple weeks ago.
If anyone has any ESL (English as a Second Language) resources, games, or ideas, I’d *love* to hear them. This is my first time teaching ESL, and I enjoy learning from other people. We’ve just begun using name tags as incentives for kids to come to class… and so we can learn their names 🙂
Here are a few pictures of my time there. Most come from Je. and P&W who stayed with us over the last couple of weeks and joined in on on the village fun.
We sing songs…
…and play games….
…and teach English…
…and (sometimes) teach a Bible story.
…but mostly we have fun 🙂
There was a cute baby at the village that I had to take a picture of:
As you’ve seen, the sunsets from the village are spectacular, so I leave you with one of my favourites: