Each year we welcome over 2,500 students and staff from schools worldwide.
March 4 - 6 March 2017
Fern Hill School climbed aboard our barge, after a twenty-two hour journey from Toronto Canada via Hong Kong. Everyone was excited to explore their new home despite the jet lag, and the time difference of 12 hours behind, in their home town.
We kicked of the trip with river observations as we cruised down the Chao Phraya River towards Ko Kret. Despite a few sleepy children everyone was very enthusiastic and completed the activity with enthusiasm, discussing what they had found and the fundamental effects which were being put upon the river, compared to that of fifty to one hundred years ago.
After going to bed at 8pm the previous night, all of Fern Hill were ready and raring to go on day two.
Day two saw the exploration of Ko Kret a manmade island. Before exploring the island, students used the sustainability compass to compose questions to ask the local Mon people about nature, economy, society and wellbeing. They were also exploring how local pottery was made.
Climbing aboard the boat again students were introduced to a simple Thai lesson by one of our own Thai staff. The students learned how to say hello, to be polite, as well as how to say numbers, all which where useful for purchasing their own lunch at a local Thai market.
As day two drew to a close we, cruised up to a local temple where we would moor for the night, and prepare for alms giving, by learning all about Buddhism.
An early morning wake up call, saw the students awake at 5:30 to give alms at, Wat Niwet temple, students prepared a meal of garlic pork, rice and an apple to offer to the local monks. The experience was described as, nerve-racking, scary and new by the students and the feeling of gratefulness was received from the monks, who blessed us upon acceptance of the food.
As we cruised up river to our final destination, Ayutthaya Fern Hill School explored water hyacinth, a species of plant which is very prominent within the Chao Phraya River, understanding how it got there and the importance of the plant itself to other macro invertebrate species, this involved the students getting their hands a little dirty, and identifying the species which they found.
As we reached our final destination, Wat Panan Choen in Ayutthaya, students where keen to explore this national heritage site and find out the history it beholds. Before their departure back to the barge via tuk tuk students reflected on the last three days, by writing letters and poetry in their journals to express their feelings, and a few shared.
Leaving the barge behind and saying farewell Fern Hill students then climbed into vans, to continue their Thailand exploration with the Visiting Schools Program in Chiang Mai.
Thank you! See you again in two years Fern Hill