One thing that I came across as I worked at CCD was the fact that most of these children never or would never have had the chance to go out somewhere, anywhere. Forget traveling outside the country, some of these children have never been outside of the small district that we call Pak Krek, or even their neighborhood. For me, having had this experience of traveling across the world to “broaden my horizons”, the thought that these children might have had no one who wanted to take the time and care to bring them outside is sobering. For many it is a direct effect of disability, seen as impossible or too troublesome to take them. In some cases, it may very well be a health risk. In other cases, however, it is simply lack of opportunity.
Which is, of course, where CCD comes in and brings possibility out of impossibility. CCD does their best to set up field trips and outings for the children to go on. On these trips, the group does not seem much more rowdy or difficult than any regular group of schoolchildren (although perhaps I don’t see the effort and logistical planning that goes into taking care of all the children). For a trip to happen, CCD contacts amusement parks and zoos, gathers the vans, stops their daycare programs for a day, and head off. I’m just a lucky volunteer who gets to go along.
I wanted a place to organize and document the times when I’ve been “out and about”, whether on a CCD trip or on the weekends where I have time off. Most of these pictures have been posted elsewhere already, but enjoy seeing them nice and organized!
Siam Park (the first time) | 06.08.17
The little boy you see in many of the pictures is from New Hope, our daycare program for normally developing children around kindergarten age. I was charged with taking care of him, my first 1-1 situation. We had quite the adventure. This boy has an incredible amount of energy and is quick to run into mischief. We had a brief panic-inducing water slide incident and then later a lunch gone bad incident. I was proud of myself for cleaning him up successfully and changing his diaper, until later when we were on a different ride and I realized I had a little leftover souvenir of the restroom on my pants. Needless to say, when we got back to CCD after the trip was all done, I had a very nice nap.
Dusit Zoo | 06.22.17
According to our tour guide, this trip was a highly educational experience where the children would learn about all different kinds of animals. Personally, I felt that the children were there to have fun and be fascinated by seeing strange new creatures. Of these new creatures, our group was most fascinated by the reptiles and amphibians exhibit. Fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how you view it. I’m not the biggest fan of snakes myself so I stuck to taking pictures of other animals instead.
**This trip was with the CCD-government home projects, and as such, pictures of any children showing their faces are not allowed. Instead, feel free to enjoy the animals we saw!
Weekend Tourists – Bangkok, Thailand | 06.09.17 – 06.11.17
Ethan, a friend from Duke came to visit! The original plan was for me to be his tour guide and show him around Bangkok, but it turns out that I was just as much of a tourist as he was. Nevertheless, we had a great time!
Dream World | 06.24.17
The Boyles and the Georges, two families of long-term British volunteers, invited me on their family outing to Dream World (picture the Disney World of Thailand)! I’ve been to Dream World as a child before, so it was great getting to go back and reminisce. My particular favorite is the Super Splash – a ride that leaves you dripping with water and wanting to do it all over again. The kids were also a huge fan seeing as how they rode it nearly 6 times!
More Weekend touring – Bangkok, Thailand | 07.10.17
Some family friends were kind enough to take me out to various places on the weekends so that I wouldn’t be bored and lonely in Pak Kret. We went all over the place and I am grateful that I had the chance to see and explore!
Central World Festival – “Floating Market” and Art exhibit!
Jim Thompson Thai Silk House Museum, food from After You (an extremely popular dessert cafe – our wait was an hour long!), and Thalat Tang Duan (translated to mean a market next to the highway)
Siam Park (the second and last time) | 07.16.17
This was my last day in Thailand so of course I had to go out with a bang. I went with Rainbow Church, the local church run by the group of long-term British volunteers at CCD. The group that went was mainly older kids, making it a bit easier to keep track of everyone. The morning was reserved for the water park, and after lunch we split up into groups so that we could go play the rest of the amusement park rides. I elected to go in the “crazy wild fun” ride group, but as you might guess from the photo, I was really really excited to go on the wildest rides….the rest of the group was a bit more reserved. All in all, the group was courageous and we did get to go on some very fun rides! What a beautiful last day in Thailand 🙂
I’ve been humbly made aware of the privilege I have in being able to wander, to be here in Thailand, and to travel to my heart’s desire. I’m also thankful for having the chance to go on field trips with CCD, to see others experience exploration and new things. I’m happy knowing that many more fun trips are in store for CCD’s children and future volunteers!