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Twenty Ten

Posted in Photography, Thoughts by Alvin on December 31, 2009

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A hopeful year ahead.

Canyon

Posted in Diary, Photography, Travel by Alvin on December 21, 2009

22 November 2009, Sunday.

The best time of the day during cold winter is when the sun’s blazing right above the head. The kids were ushered from one hall games to another. The last activity was probably the best. The staff had a chance to blast the kids with the remaining water balloons. We shot the group picture in the midst of laughter and that marks the end of English camp.

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Source: Aom’s (Facebook)

Before heading back to the town, we travelled about 12km to the banks of Mekong River. SamPhan-Bok, as what the locals named it, is a big stone cataract situated right in the middle of Mekong River. The river dries up during the dry winter season, allowing the stone platform to emerge from the shallow river. The view from the rocks was charming.

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The Thailand Grand Canyon, with steep sides, deep valley and stream running through it.

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The English camp officially ended with this complimentary trip by the locals. After bidding goodbye, we were tucked into the pick-ups again, wading through strong cold winds, back to the town.

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Apart from the angry cold wind, the 2 hours ride was actually fun. We witnessed sunsets, and later stars gazing from the back of the truck. We had a good laugh at random jokes, conversations and definitely at this little girl at the road side who screamed ‘Oh, farang!’ as we drove past the village.

Anatomy

Posted in Diary, Photography, Travel by Alvin on December 14, 2009

21 November 2009, Saturday

The sun rose at 6am. I dreaded morning bath the most as  day temperature goes below 20C and the water was icy cold. Hot cocoa after a cold shower was the best to start the day. Today’s the first day of English camp at Muangyai School, Phosai district.

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The school teachers gave a brief opening to the camp before the staff took over with songs and games.

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There were 4 rotations for the kids to learn basic English vocabulary on body parts, fruits, kitchen appliances, people and places. I had my portraits drawn by the kids on the command of the facilitator on different parts of the body. It was so comical that all of us had a good time laughing at each team’s masterpiece. We wrapped up each session with a quick revision from hair to toes, not forgetting songs and games.

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Day 1 ended at about 4.30pm, and we made our way to the local market.

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After a round of quick snacks shopping, we headed next to the paddy field. So much of help exchange for food during the camp, I had a great time enjoying the field chores. The golden crisp ripen paddy plant, dyed the vast field yellow with a great contrast to the sapphire cloudless sky, the landscape was stunning.

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We stayed back till sunset before going back to the school for dinner.

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A wonderful start for my English teaching project here in Thailand, and definitely a great end for day 1 of English camp. 

16 Hours

Posted in Diary, Travel by Alvin on December 13, 2009

20 November 2009, Friday

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The 5.30pm bus wasn’t fully filled.  My backpack had a seat for itself. The 16 hours ride from Chiang Mai to Ubon Ratchathani wasn’t that bad except for some bumpy roads and the irritated toddler behind me whom screamed his lungs out at 3am. The bus made 2 stops, at Phitsanulok and I have no idea where’s the second.

I caught the sun rise at 5am on the way in the bus and the view was spectacular. The day temperature in Ubon that week was 25C or slightly less. It was a breezy cool morning.

Tae, my host gave me a warm welcome to his home where I repacked my stuff before going to the university to meet up with the rest.

It was an interesting evening meeting volunteers and local University students, learning comical songs and games for the English camp.

The temperature dipped further down as the sun sets. We were tucked into a pickup on a 2 hours drive to Phosai district.  The strong and cold wind wasn’t too friendly but The roofless pickup offered the convenience to star gaze, and indeed it was quite a sight.

More experience sharing around the charcoal stove, dinner and hot coffee.

Chiang Mai 3

Posted in Photography, Travel by Alvin on December 9, 2009

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Quick tour around Chiang Mai old city, flea market shopping and tea break by the river.

Chiang Mai trip ended with me bidding goodbye to the rest at the tea tavern, hopped on the Song Taew and later, the 16 hours bus ride to Ubon Ratchathani, North Eastern of Thailand.

Sawasdee

Posted in Random by Alvin on December 6, 2009

I am still kicking alive in the Land of Smiles. 20 days and still counting.

Charcoal tabs are still in the blister pack, unutilized, despite the crazy gourmet over the past 3 weeks!

Till then.