It's Harriet here! After making our way into the jungle following our volunteering stint in Sangkhaluburi, we've seen and done some amazing stuff!
Our time at the jungle project was INCREDIBLE! At this time of the year (March) lots of the local schools are closing up for Summer the team are able to send some volunteers out into the jungle to teach in a Summer English camp.
Because it is over an hour away the volunteers stay in the same accommodation used when the Thailand Experience goes trekking. The house is so cool! It is owned by the village leader and all of the family live there. It is a big wooden house and feels so remote and peaceful. The volunteers sleep upstairs which is all open in twin share tents - so you are literally camping in a house in the jungle! It's such a cool experience.
The volunteers on the first day all did work shops with the brilliant volunteer coordinator Joe who fully prepared them for the next few days of teaching English.
Ben and I arrived around 9am just in time for breakfast cooked by the best cook of all time, the village elders wife. We then made our way to the school to meet the volunteers and our students for the day.
The age ranges of the kids are from around 5-12 years old so there is a real mix! We started off the morning with getting the kids to sit in a big circle and making our way round individually introducing ourselves "hello my name is Harriet. What is your name?" they would then say "My name is..." then we would shake hands and say "Nice to meet you!". After introducing ourselves and getting them to practice in English we moved onto some interactive English songs such as heads, shoulders, knees and toes and lots more. Then we split into groups with around 6-8 children with 2-3 volunteers and taught them about family and the spelling i.e Father, Mother, daughter, son and baby. They then filled out work sheets writing the correct word under the correct picture and also did a word search. There are so many different levels of English so certain children needed a lot more help. Once they had completed it correctly we gave them a sticker which the younger ones loved!
Then around 12 they had a break for lunch. We helped serve lunch and then played games with them such as volley ball and also drew pictures with them with the English words next to them.
After lunch we continued with separate groups learning how to say your age. "my name is... I am 7 years old. How old are you?" We then had an hour to read an English story book with a small group of children getting them to join in as much as they could.
We finished off the day around 3pm at the school with more songs and dancing and then the children made their way home (still singing heads shoulders knees and toes!) Teaching for the day can really take it out of you so we went straight back to the house for a shower and some chill out time on the upstairs decking which has amazing jungle views.
We sat and played card games until dinner was served around 6pm. This dinner was hands down the BEST meal we have had since we have been in Thailand! We had Massaman curry, chicken and cashew nuts with fried green beans, pumpkin bhajis, spicy chicken legs and loads of rice!
The house has a really cute small bar where you can buy soft drinks and beer (really cheaply!) so after dinner we all stayed around the dining table outside and drank beer, talked about the group trip highlights, played cards and listened to music until around midnight when we couldn't keep our eyes open anymore!
We all decided to call it a night and retired to our tents upstairs in the house for a very unique sleeping experience. This was mine and Bens highlight of our trip so far it had been such an amazing day and evening with the group. We loved that all Thailand Experience groups get to spend at least one night in this amazing place after they go trekking in Sangkhlaburi.