We started this month with a fair at the Ao Luk Non-Formal Education (NFE) Centre, where we have been running free English classes for adults since July 2007. There was a lot of fun to be had and lots of mess to be made; Teaching Children (TC) volunteers Sophie & Laura got to work painting faces while the rest of us ran the various games & activities, including a 3 legged race, hoopla, pass the parcel, fishing for prizes, a can shack and a crafts table making penguin piggy banks out of plastic bottles! By far everyone’s favourite was the Global Village Idiot stocks, where students got the chance to bombard their teachers with wet sponges, water pistols and, eventually, entire buckets of water. Students – adults & kids, volunteers and staff all had a whale of a time and walked away drenched but happy.
As is tradition at the end of each term, we held a party at our base for all the students, community and volunteers, the theme this time being ‘GVI rak Ao Luk’ – ‘GVI loves Ao Luk’. The students always make a huge effort and, as always, brought an obscene amount of food, but this time we also had a special treat for them. After weeks of intensive training (thanks to GVI staff member and Ao Luk local, Apple) the volunteers & staff got dolled up in traditional Thai dress and performed a Thai dance at the party; I think we did a pretty good job and everyone loved it (or were too polite to say otherwise!). Laura B & Ian also put together a heart-warming and tear-jerking slideshow of some of the highlights of our time in Ao Luk. After hours of laughter, food and a lot of karaoke, our guests gradually drifted off, leaving us to close-up the karaoke with our set piece; as 1am approaches, so does the haunting (and mildly disturbing) howl of Bohemian Rhapsody!