Sawadii ka, everyone!
On Tuesday we even had a sports day, which my fellow volunteer, Felicity, has organised the weeks before as part of her internship. It sure as hell was hard sometimes, especially because the students (and most teachers) can't really understand English, so actually "coaching" them was nearly impossible. We still had a great time this week!
MondayMonday was my first day at the school where sports coaching takes place. We were four volunteers this week and I was the only "new" one since the other three did sports coaching as their main program here.
I first had to change clothes after breakfast because I forgot that we had to cover our shoulders when teaching in a school. In the orphanages that was no problem. I don't know why, though, since there were schools at the property as well.
When we got to the school, we first had to attend a little meeting about the sports day, which would take place the next day. Since Felicity was the only one who knew everything about it, the two other volunteers and I already went to the gymnasium to coach the first class.
It was kindergarten 1 and those kids were so little that we couldn't really play any sports with them. We did a warm up by just passing volleyballs to each other and then moved on to playing an easy game.
Basically, everyone sits in a circle and one kid has to stand up, go around it and touch everybody on the head until they start to shake someone.
The chosen one, then, has to stand up quickly and try to catch the first kid, which has to run around the circle once and sit down at the place where the second child sat before. Then everything starts from the beginning again.
An hour later the next class came in which was kindergarten 2. Felicity joined us and did a little warm up and stretch with them. We then played the same game we played with Kindergarten 1 and also a game where we sat in the circle and made the kids roll the ball to each other.
After lunch at the school we got back to Twinhouse where I just took a shower. Then there was no afternoon program for us so we sat in the community area, talked and played cards until we had dinner and went to bed later.
TuesdayTuesday was sports day. We had to get up a little bit earlier to be at the school at 8:30am. There, all the kids were already standing in lines on the field and ready for a welcoming speech and the warm up.
At first we did the typical warm up; things like jumping jacks, running and stretching. Then one teacher connected her laptop to the speakers, turned on music and everybody danced for a bit.
After the whole sports day introduction, we divided the classes in 4 groups. Kindergarten 1 and 2, Grade 1 and 2, Grade 3 and 4, and grade 5 and 6. That day we were 6 volunteers because two of Thai Boxing joined us for the sports day. There were always 2 volunteers with one team consisting of two grades and two teachers helped as well.
I teamed up with Pauline, a french girl, and took care of the first and second graders. We first played chair ball with them which is basically basket-ball, but since they don't have a basket-ball hoop in their school, one child always has to stand on a chair with a laundry basket in its hands.
There's also no dribbling, just passing the ball and running. We counted all the baskets they've sunken in 30 minutes, and wrote down which team won.
Next we did relay races with the kids. We placed them in pairs on the side of the field and gave the first pair each a filled water bottle, which they needed to pass on to the next one of their team.
After a few practise rounds, they finally understood how the game worked and did really good. This time the other team won so it was a tie after that.
Luckily we had a third game to see which team actually won the morning games. The game was "over and under". It was a really easy game, where each team stood in a row and every child had to pass a ball to the person behind it.
The first kid had to pass the ball over its head to the next one, the second kid had to pass the ball between its legs to the next one and so on and so forth. The last child in the row had to run in front of the row and the game started over again until the kid, which started the game, stood in front of the row again. The team, which completed that task first, won.
The other volunteers played similar games with their group of children or added different kinds of sport like volleyball, soccer or badminton to their program.
In the afternoon, after lunch break, we all went to the gymnasium to sit down in two huge circles with all the students, except for the kindergarteners since they've already gone home.
The rest of the school day was spent playing games. We played games like "The wind blows", "Hot hot potato", "Musical statues", etcetera. During those games we went ahead and handed out candy to all students which they really appreciated.
What a surprise. Here and then, a few kids came up to me and started tickling me (I fought back, of course) and one girl even gave me a key chain as a present.
Back at twinhouse there was no afternoon program so we played cards again before, and also after, dinner, until we went back to our rooms to escape the mosquitos.
WednesdayToday we went to the school at the usual time, 9am, again. The first students to be coached were the third graders.
After the warm up they split up into several groups and each one of us volunteers got one group to play one kind of sports with. I was lucky and got chosen by a group to play ping pong with them. So that's what we did for the whole lesson, while the others played volleyball, soccer or badminton.
The next grade was fifth grade. With those kids we just played some "circle games". Mostly games where they had to catch each other and run around so that they could work off their energy.
After lunch at the school, we went back to twin house and at 1pm we all went to the swimming pool. We were there until 4 o'clock and, obviously, swam, talked, played ball games and ate ice cream. Just like any other day at the pool.
When we got back to twin house we had a bit time to shower and relax a bit before going to the Thai BBQ. There we had dinner and afterwards went to the bar across the road and spent the rest of the evening there, having fun.
ThursdayOn Thursday we only had to be at the school for one hour because only grade 6 had PE that day.
We did a quick warm up with them, where every student had to present one move that everyone else had to copy. Then they split up in groups to do different types of sport. I was with the kids, who wanted to play ping pong, again.
Apparently there were some important people at the school that day so the kids had to wear their scouts uniform.
Those people also joined playing ping pong later on and we did a little tournament. At 11 o'clock our half-day was over and we ate lunch before going back to twin house where we had a break until 1pm.
At 1pm we went to another school to teach English until 3pm. There the children were super cute and clingy. We taught them about body parts, conversations, week days, months, colours, objects and the alphabet.
They were really motivated to learn about all that and repeated everything we said very loudly.
At 5:30pm, after dinner, we went to the big tesco mall where I topped up my data, withdrew money and went to tesco to buy a new notebook and snacks.
I didn't stay outside very long that day because the mosquitos made me crazy so I went to my room quite early to pack for my second weekend in Bangkok, since we would leave right after sports coaching the next day.
FridayFriday was a really short day at school for us. We got there at 9:30h and already left after an hour. Usually we would've gone to a high-school in the afternoon but since we were going to leave for Bangkok at 1pm already, we skipped that.
Today it was the 4th graders turn to be coached. The first part of the lesson I played badminton with a few girls and then they all insisted on playing some of those circle games again.
Right before the lesson ended, their teacher picked them up from the gym and said they'd be right back.
When they got back after a few minutes they stood in front of us and thanked us for coaching them. One girl even prepared an English speech for us and we got lots of drawings and little presents, like necklaces, key chains and origami birds from them as a "thank you". It was really sweet and I was kind of sad to leave them, even though I've only spent one week at that school with them.
We had lunch at twinhouse and, after we've finished packing, we left for Bangkok at 1pm to spend one of the best weekends of my trip there. But that story is for another blog post.
September 25th - September 29th