Thursday, March 1, 2012

Class Trip: Day 1 and 2

Day one was traveling and we took over the plane from Dhaka to Bangkok. Then we only had about 50 minutes to get through immigration and get to the gate for our next flight! Here we are on the move; class of 2017.

We got in late that night, quickly ate and put the kiddies to bed. Some stayed up late but for the most part they were all tired. The next day I was with this group that went to the School for Life orphanage.

We were going there to do some service activities. They had three activities for us to do; painting the dormitory rooms, painting a mural, and making a fish cage. Me being the guy I am, ended up with the group building the fish cage with about 8 students. Here they are working:

The finished fish cage. The idea is to grow fish in the cages so that they are easier to catch come dinner time.

Many hands make light work! Moving the fish cage to water.

After we finished we went to check on the mural which was coming along nicely:

Some of the orphan kids watching the mural take shape.

I walked up to check on the group painting the dormitory and was not surprised to see that the kids had started painting each other as well as the walls. Darn Kids! Then we had lunch which turned out to be one of the best meals we had. After lunch we planted three papaya trees and then said goodbye.

The orphanage seems like a great operation. They have a large chunk of land and they teach classes and the 7 Critical Skills (I don't know what they are but they gave us the example of farming so I would assume that they are skills to keep them fed and employed). They have livestock, fish farming and gardens that the kids maintain. After spending the day at the orphanage I was impressed at how much our kids really wanted to help out. I was disappointed though for two reasons. First there was no real interaction between the kids and the orphans. Second, a lot of the jobs were things that could have easily have been done by the orphan kids themselves. Building the fish cage only required one or two people. The orphanage could have got a lot more work out of us and could have really got a lot done if all of the kids were working side by side. This collaboration would have been more valuable from an emotional level and given the kids a cool perspective too. It was odd to see our kids working for the orphanage while the orphan kids sat around doing nothing... maybe it was their day of rest or something? Even though it felt a bit odd our kids really got into their projects and enjoyed giving back.

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