One of the most memorable things I did in Ayutthaya was volunteer for a social contribution activity at the Joa-Fa-Sang Primary School. Yes, I also wondered what a “social contribution activity” was. Hahaha. Vague! Ok from what I gathered, it was basically community work, whereby I was there to expose the Thai kids to outsiders… Widen their mind, stay away from stereotypes. We’re like ASEAN realia in their Geography class haha.
Joa-Fa-Sang, is a little bit away from the Bang Pa In Palace, which I’d be visiting too. From what I gathered, the school’s complex is actually a gift from the royal family, as it used to be a resting place for them. Dunno true or not, sometimes I think I’m deaf in Thailand cause accents can get too thick! Hehe.
We went there with our Thai friend, by car. However, our Thai friend is from Bangkok, and thus unfamiliar with the roads in Ayutthaya. So very soon we somehow got lost. After a few phone calls, we got directions and apparently, we had ended up on the wrong side of the Chao Phraya river and was thus instructed to take a ferry to get to the other side.
Tadaaahhh!!! A rickety ferry to be exact. So we reversed into the ferry. Quite a precarious situation me thinks, but I guess not so dangerous. We lived to tell the tale wahey!
View of the other side of the river. Reminds me of Pudak a bit hehe.
Other vehicles in the water. Apparently this one is going towards Bangkok.
Tug of war! Hehe, random rope on the ferry.
After some few minutes, we finally arrived at a quaint little school next to the river.
It’s really cute! Except for the heat, it reminds me of a regular Bruneian school in Temburong or Tutong. Crazy hot there by the way!!! I really wanted to faint at the end of the day.
First it was a whole load of speeches and confusion. We didn’t really know what to do. These kids are from many different schools around Ayutthaya so they were also quite shy around each other. Each colour is a different school and those wearing normal clothes are students from Joa Fa Sang. So there’s a nice mix of students.
Then the kids started doing some icebreaking activities. This we could’ve joined BUT was all done in Thai hahaha. So we quickly got rather distracted. Went round the school and took silly photos on the playground.
Soon it was lunchtime, and the school kitchen generously churned out some noms for everyone.
This is the cafeteria, under a building. Hehe, utilising spaces! Some tall Japanese friends kept on bumping his head on the beams cause this cafeteria is made for cute primary school children haha.
Food. What can I say, it was cafeteria food.
Rice noodles and vegetables with some seafood in a sauce.
Yummy dessert! Was so simple but very refreshing! They’re rubies. I remember Sas once did a How To Make Rubies post in her blog back when she was still in Melbourne but I can’t seem to find it!
After lunch we finally started our activity!!!
I was put in group 3, and since we were group 3, we started at Station 3! This is the best station cause it’s the SORANBUSHI station. Last time I had to do this dance was in 2008 so I was very very very RUSTY! Hahahahaha!!!
After Station 3, we went on to 4, 5, 6, 7 and then back to 1, 2 and when we get back to 3, that means we’re done!
This was us strategizing for a game. Eseh.This was blind soccer, so fun!!! I had them yelling at me in Thai LOL!!!!
We had an ASEAN quiz too. I could totally answer all the questions haha.
This is where we were given a piece of paper and told to throw it as far as possible. Many of us did paper planes but actually the best shape is…
Obligatory group photo cause this was our last station.
Some other group doing the blind soccer hehehe. I really like this game. Very good for team building and/or learning directive language.
After that we just lazed about and look at my friend’s phone! PINK. 😀 It’s got 8 megapixels on the camera or something, it’s awesome.
Later we had some feedback sessions. Very yawn, we all just talked amongst ourselves and our new friends hehe.
Then a dancerobics thing to a Thai song haha. FUN!
Then everything went back to Thai and all the international participants relaxed and hung out over yums iced water.
Other random photos from the school:
Yaaaaa bringing home the greens hahaha.
I tell friends that this translates to: Joa Fa Sang Mental Facility hahahahahah
That night I went back to the hotel and showered for a very very long time!!! And the next day, FEVER!!! Haha, I guess I’m not so used to the Ayutthaya heat. Only broke my fever 2 days later during SIGA.