With an early start to our morning, we made our way to Yaowawit School with the aim of seeing how things are done there at their Camp to gather ideas for our upcoming two-week English Camp. We were invited by Pi Yu, one of the people in charge of the school to come to visit.
As stated on their website, “Yaowawit is a public-private homestay school for children from underprivileged families, located in the rainforest of Phang Nga Province. The goal of this non-profit organization is to help children reach their full potential, thus enabling them to break out of the cycle of poverty by providing them with a quality education. The initial purpose was to come to the aid of children affected by the tsunami, however, with the schools expansion the opportunities for all underprivileged children in education and society grew. The students attending the Yaowawit boarding school mostly come from the provinces of PhangNga, Surat Thani, Krabi, Phuket and Ranong.”
During our visit, they were holding a Nature Camp for children, during the school term break here in Thailand. As we arrived quite early, there was nobody there yet, and we decided to walk around the school, their very large farm and even went to see their goats which are located at the bottom of the hill of the school. The area around Yaowawit School is incredibly beautiful, with luscious huge leaves and palm trees spread out everywhere.
We walked back as the camp was to begin at 9:00 am. While kids started to come in, they were all asked to sit in rows of 4. An introduction was made, and as this was day three of the camp, the children already knew each other and were excited for what was awaiting them today.
The first activity consisted of the kids having to walk around and gather different kinds of leaves and flowers, in order to make a collage out of these leaves and make an animal from the plants they collected. Ta and I joined and went out in search of the perfect leave shapes to match our ideas of the animal we wanted to create; I had chosen I wanted to make an elephant, and Ta was going to create a bird with its feathers out of leaves.
So everyone became busy, running outside and looking around, concentrated to find the most colorful and prettiest leaves to use for their artwork. With our hands full of different shaped leaves, we received white papers and glue and proceeded to arrange the leaves. We all had so much fun during this activity, you gotta love a creative art session from time to time! The artworks all turned out very unique and stunning, from butterflies to birds to monkeys to elephants being made out of leaves, and then painted on top to give a finishing ‘look’.
The day continued with several activities and games being played with the kids, from singing songs together and dancing together to playing soccer or volleyball in the big covered outdoor hall the Nature Camp was in.
After lunch, which consisted of fried rice, fried eggs, soup and fresh fruit, the kids were given free time to play around again.
After free time, the next activity was a ‘Tie-Dye Session’ out of natural dyes made of plants such as turmeric, red beet, and different cabbages. This was super interesting to observe and learn about. The kids took their white shirts and tied them up in the tie-dye manner, and dipped the ends of their shirts into the different dyes, creating layers of colors onto their shirts.
When everyone was finished, they opened their shirts and washed them out, and put them to dry on some racks. Yoohoo, cool rainbow colored shirts were created!
The day ended for Ta and I as we weren’t going to stay overnight at the camp, but the rest of the plan for the kids consisted of playing more games which the German Volunteers staying there had come up with and making a bonfire with some story-telling time.
We had a beautiful day at Yaowawit School and gathered some interesting, creative and fun ideas for our next projects here at Jungle Life Camp. Thank you, Pi Yu for having us!