19 Jan 2016 Waking up at 6.30 am was surprisingly easier than I anticipated, the vast amount of animals in our backyard produced a racket of sounds which as unpleasant as it was to hear at dawn, were very successful in waking us up bright and early. Breakfast was the typical toast and eggs with a warm Thai hot chocolate. At 9.00am the group of us headed off to the bamboo field we were spent a good 2 hours determinedly hacking down bamboo stalks which we would later feed to Bank the elephant and her baby. We buddied up so that one person would be in charge of cutting the bamboo while the other would be in charge of carrying the cut bamboo. It was definitely very satisfying looking back at the large area we had hacked down in the space of 2 hours.
After another delicious meal made by our Thai hosts we were given an hour or so to relax and chat with our fellow ambassadors, however, I don't think I cann exactly describe this down time as "relaxing" as we spent most of this time sitting on the edge of our seats with our tongues hanging out, slapping down our cards in the multiple games of tongues, probably the most fun I've had being stressed!
Later on in the afternoon we went back to the local primary school where we got ready to paint the fence of the school. This felt super rewarding as we got to witness the before and after of our work and the purpose of this job was to encourage the kids to be proud and excited to go to their beautiful school. After the painting of the primer we went into the school to play with the school children. Due to our inability to speak or understand much Thai, we spoke to the children via Nina who became our very useful translator. We asked what the children wanted to become when they grew up and the answers they gave us ranged from a surgeon, nurse, police officer to a baker. These children were so enthusiastic about their learning and had so much respect for their teachers that it made me sad to think about how unfair it was that we were and still are given endless opportunities yet the majority of these kids don't even get the chance to receive an education higher than primary school.
I think I have definitely realized the inequality prevalent in our world even in such a small incident of hearing about the kids futures here and reflecting on our futures compared to theirs. These kids have much less than what we have however they are so grateful for everything they know and have and so I think the saying "ignorance is bliss" really makes sense in this situation as many people who are so much more privileged than these kids don't seem to be as grateful or happy with what they have as they are still always wanting more.
Later on in the night we all gathered together and played a good game of mafia, bang and other classic games we all grew up playing, as you can imagine, things got pretty intense! If there's anything I've learnt about our group is that we are all super competitive, making what was suppose to be a friendly game of bang in our host families lounge into a mini battlefield!
All in all, we had yet another action packed, fun filled, informative day, taking away many new experiences and knowledge that we can pass on to others back home.
Chenyang Zhao /Glamour shots