Foreign Language Camp

My first field trip.  Two days and one night to Foreign Language Camp.  We took a special group of kids in the equivalent of grade 10 -12.  These students are in a program where they learn English and Chinese or Japanese.  That’s right, they are tri-lingual.

We met at the school at 4:00 am to leave at 4:30, so of course we left after 5:00.  All of the Thai teachers traveled in a van while the foreign teachers got to travel in the buses with the students.  The students were all well behaved and stayed quiet in the early morning.  I never saw anyone do a headcount or need to discipline a student.  I am not sure how they managed it with 120 students.

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Traveling in Style – Double Decker bus

Our first tourist stop was a temple.  I can’t tell you anything about it except it was 32C but felt like 38C at 10:00 am.  I mistakenly decided it was too early for ice cream.
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We arrived at Chartthip Resort, just in time for lunch and to meet the team from Dragonfly English Camps.  The team of five firecrackers ran the camp for the day, while the rest of us observed so we could run a similar camp next month.  Of the five, three were half Thai (and half English, Dutch, and Yemeni), one was full Thai and one was a Brit.  The kids absolutely loved them and couldn’t get enough of the games.

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After an afternoon of games, everyone got a break to enjoy the resorts.  The foreign English teachers were exhausted from observing games, so we headed straight to the pool.  But we had to be careful of what we wore.  At school we are not allowed to reveal any tattoos, so the fellow with the full sleeve must always wear long sleeve shirts.  For camp we were all issued beige short-sleeved polo shirts, so he had to wear extra sleeves to stay covered.  For swimming, he still had to stay covered, so he swam in a shirt.  We also weren’t allowed to wear bikinis, so the girls had to cover up with tank tops.  For some reason, my pink hibiscus was deemed inoffensive, so I just wore my regular swimsuit.  Once I saw the kids swimming I had a better understanding of the dress code.  The girls all wore shorts and a t-shirt – more then we wear to aerobics!

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We had dinner, and then were back to English camp.  After faux infomercials and a catwalk competition, the kids cheered at the suggestion of bed time.

The next day the kids were back to work at either Chinese activities or Japanese games.  I watched them learn to take part in a tea ceremony and I tried to write my name in Japanese phonetics with a brush and ink.  We stayed at the resort until lunch, and then headed to the petrified wood museum!

At the Southeastern Institute of Petrified Wood we saw petrified wood and fossils.  It felt a lot like Drumheller.  The tour included a few short movies – one where the floor moved (the kids loved it!) and one where a poorly CG’ed dinosaur attacked (the kids loved it!).

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Oh the carnage!

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We end the trip with the 6+ hour drive home.  We have to make three stops.  One to buy “souvenirs” but it looked more like treats from a grocery store.  The next for dinner.  And the third, for no evident reason.   But my bus got to make a few extra stops because the bus door kept opening up in the middle of the highway.  We fixed it by manually holding it until we got back to school at 9:00.

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A bus trip with teenagers is not complete without a dance party.
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