This is an anomaly to me: sports day in Thailand. Now, I’m familiar with field day in America where energy-thirsty kids flood into the fields and later come home with grass stains, scraped knees and smiles made of dirt. However, sports day in Thailand means something a little different. As a matter of fact, many days that contribute to missed class days perplex me. For instance, you have sports day, merit-making, clean the school day, ditch digging day, testing for test-taking day, boy scout day, and the list goes on. When first arriving in Thailand, the days spent on “extracurricular” activities inside curriculum class time caused me great stress, but the revered Thai patience set in quickly and now is a way of life, among many other things.
Below are some of the photos of the myriad of things we’ve done as a school. The photos highlight sports day, a trip to the science museum, and I’ve thrown in some extras from an average day in the village. The sports day highlights the students’ morning parade through the market. Some of the village life highlights include my Thai grandma and the family making over 20 kg of sweet snacks to pass out to friends. We began with 8 kg of peanuts, 8 kg of various grains and sesame seeds, and unknown amounts of palm sugar.
In these students, I admire their ambition in the wake of a changing world. I admire their unwavering youthful merriment. I admire their convictions of retaining the beauty of a simplistic culture.
Yai helps Aunt Dan string flowers for merit making.
My Yai eyes my speedy candy-packing skills with pride
The biology floor of the museum: my favorite floor of all.
School-wide, students dress up in uniforms and costumes to parade aroung the village market.
Old-fashioned instruments on display at the Science Museum.
A young female herds her line of students with fierce perseverance
I suggested flattening the candy by using a glass bottle as a rolling pin. My family jumped on board.
Students in costume parade through our small village.
Carved Wooden figures show the traditional years past of Thailand. However, this is still a present reality in rural village life.
Close-up texture of a handmade Thai purse.
A field of flowers in my Aunt Dan’s backyard.
A Homunculus statue guards the front of the Thailand National Science Museum.
Parade girls baton their way down the village road.
Aunt Bong and farmers tend to the fields.
Students parade through the streets to kick off Sports Day, a two-day event.
The beginning ingredients of our candy making.
A large work truck piles sugar-cane high atop the truck bed in Singburi, Thailand
Everyone lends a hand in genome making, including Yai, who wields a large wooden rowing paddle.
The ROTC school members hold their Thai flag high and proud.
A unique student expresses his individuality with free style clothes.
Yai takes a break from stringing flowers. She carries a fierce beauty with rough edges from years of farming.
Beautiful fishing display at the Science Museum.
Yai rinses her hands after a long day of candy making.
My culturally inappropriate methods of candy making. Hopefully I’m loved all the more for it.
Flowers are hung from vehicles rear view mirrors to protect and show Buddhist respect.
Traditional pottery lines the entrance-way of the Back to the Past floor.
Sewing display at the Science Museum.
A Thai student respectfully sits at the feet of her mother on Mother’s Day
My Aunt Dan grows flowers for the season, then beautifully strings them together to make merit to the monks.
Baton girls march down the road in line.
Dawn looking over the rice fields in Singburi, Thailand.
Young Oat acts as parade leader at the very front.
Blue teams parades down the street with their Thai teacher leader
A young female glances back at her friends in formation, waiting for the signal to march.
The sports teams gather for cheering in the bleachers section.
Students line up and wai their mothers to show thanks and respect. Tears of happiness fall from the cheeks of the young girl in front.
Young Oat leads the school through the market and the village roundabout.
At the Science museum, a young student gets a hands-on science experience by sticking a two-foot long pin into a balloon.