Thursday, September 13, 2012

Children's Day

Recently in Huay Pakoot, the GVI volunteers put on a Children’s Day event at the local school at the top of the hill.  After our morning hike, we grabbed quick lunches at base hut and gathered materials for game-playing, face-painting, and book-reading.  It takes about fifteen minutes to trek up to the school, but when we got there, the kids were so excited to see us!

The first thing we did was to organize them into lines for some relay races, using gestures to communicate since they all speak Thai or Pakinyoh, the Karen language.  Lynsey and Kylie started by demonstrating the wheelbarrow race.  It was great to watch the kids in their traditional Karen dress, wheelbarrow racing, leapfrogging, skipping, piggybacking, and dancing their way across the school’s playing field. 

 After the races, we played “Pass the Parcel” and set up a face-painting stand.  Both were huge hits with the kids.  They were very reserved at first, but as we continued playing, the kids forgot their shyness of the big, scary foreigners and started to enjoy the games.  The louder and more playful we were, the more excited the children became. 

Between the different activities we did, the face-painting was the clear favorite.  There was constantly a mass of children crowded around the table, waiting to have a whale, an elephant, or Spongebob Squarepants painted onto a face or an arm.  With our limited amount of paint and time, we had to set a limit of one painting per child, but some tried to beat the system by washing off the paint and coming back for another go. 

The children were disappointed when it was time for us to leave, but they loved the three hours we had spent with them.  As for the volunteers, we headed over to Top Shop for ice cream, a treat from Maryanne.  Definitely a successful afternoon for all involved.