Day 1: 7 Nov 2014: Arrive in Chiang Rai
Students took in the sights and sounds of the Land of Smiles as they travelled to Chiang Rai. In a chance encounter, we grabbed a glimpse of the locals celebrating a traditional festival – Loi Krathong. Streets were lined with decorated floats and lights. The students could not contain the excitement and captured many pictures along the bus ride.
Day 2: 8 Nov 2014: Mission Work with Hmong Tribe
A visit to the Hmong Tribe as the students interacted with the children, teaching them songs and games. They had a community meal prepared by the Sisters and the Hmong Tribe where they did their part by washing the plates and utensils thereafter. The students enjoyed the meal and appreciated the chance to taste authentic Thai food served by the community members. As a symbol of our appreciation, the students gave the Hmong children little gifts, which they had packed in Singapore. During the daily reflection session, they shared about being surprised as the children from the Hmong tribe lived with so little but could give them so much.
“One girl had to squeeze the juices from the food scrapes out. I never saw someone do such a thing before and the fact that she did it willingly was even more shocking. It really created a huge impact on me, I told myself I will think twice about wasting food in future.” – Eunice (3/11)
Day 3: 9 Nov 2014: Combined Mass with Hmong Tribe
Students attended a mass held in the Hmong language celebrated by Father Rhiang. The students collaborated by singing 4 hymns during the mass. Through the Angel Network, they visited and distributed toiletries to the villagers. The girls were touched by the interactions they had with the tribal people who had special stories to tell. They reflected that the experience served as a timely reminder for them to appreciate people at home.
“We visited an old lady and she shared with us that her only son died not too long ago. Then her daughter-in-law left her 5 children with her to remarry. You can tell that she was having a hard time looking after these young kids. It reminded me of how much our grandparents love us and that we should appreciate them and the things they do for us. It reminded me of my grandmother and I decided that I should visit her more often. – Jer Maine (3/5)
Day 4: 10 Nov 2014: Mission Work @ Holy Infant Jesus School
Students began their English lessons in Holy Infant Jesus School, the experience was different from the previous one with the Hmong Tribe. They faced challenges but were quick to improvise and learn. The students persevered through the day to deliver the best lessons they could come up with. Some were engaging the students in puppet shows while others were role-playing as they taught English through stories.
“As I stepped into the classroom, I was shocked at the different experience as compared to the Hmong tribe. When we started teaching the class, the students started talking and wrestling with one another. It was frustrating, as I could not maintain the discipline. I had to go to a corner to cool myself down. Thinking how the mission is to help the children ultimately, I tried hard to persevere. “- Callista, 3/11
Day 5: 11 Nov 2014: Mission Work @ Holy Infant Jesus School
The students continued to teach the children through drama, craft and games. The activities were carried out with the main objective of teaching English in a fun and interactive way. They were affirmed in the course of working together with their teammates as they reflect about what they have done in the day for the children.
“I helped my teammates silently by cleaning up the classroom while they brought the children out. I thought no one noticed how I was contributing to the group but I was really touched to be affirmed by my teammates. I didn’t expect myself to have certain strengths such as being dedicated and determined in whatever I do. It was really heartwarming to hear the words of affirmation from my peers and the teachers.” - Yun Xuan 3/1
Day 6: 12 Nov 2014: Cultural Exchange @ Holy Infant Jesus School
The students shared the culture of Singapore with the Thai students by setting up local booths in the classrooms. They researched on the different landmarks in Singapore and put up information on what Singapore is like. The students also put up a cultural dance item, accompanied by body percussion. In return, the Thai students put up a mini concert showcasing their ethnic costumes, music and art.
“On my last day of teaching both the students and Hmong children, I didn’t expect them to cry and hug me tightly as I didn’t talk and play much with them. I feel that they really accept and endear me. Their smiles, laughter, and tears seem to be sincere and honest. That’s what children usually are. They appreciate what people give to them even though it may be small and simple, not like us adults who are very fussy and hardly appreciate small things. I think it’s an important attitude to have and we should learn from them. I’m very thankful to those who helped me discover some strengths which I didn’t expect to have.” –Maria 3/1
Day 7: 13 Nov 2014: Depart for Singapore
Students concluded the trip with a prayer, remembering this experience God has bestowed on them as they took on the mission trip.