2-4 February 2016
ISB brought 141 students to Chiang Mai for three days in February, which is, amazingly, a reduction from last year’s number. They arrived at the train station nice and early, giving them time to freshen up after an overnight journey from Bangkok before a full afternoon of activities on our farm. It was a lively atmosphere as groups of around seven students completed an Amazing Race-style competition, engaging in all sorts of games including a plate-spinning relay race, propelling a bamboo raft and daring themselves to eat crickets and caterpillars.
For the remaining two days of the trip there were six different programs for the students to choose from, including a completely new destination for the Visiting Schools Program – Pa Sak Ngam village. There is a wide variety of activities to do in the village, which was given an award for the community’s successful application of advice given from the Royal Project regarding sustainable living. Due to its potential for a variety of great activities, we were very keen that the first trip there be a success and ISB were selected as the ideal group to put several visits’ worth of logistical planning into action.
Since their visit was for only one day, ISB had to select the local initiatives that appealed to them most. One of their choices was to plant fruit trees in the community forest, the produce of which will be shared by all the village, and another was learning how to make intricate baskets from strips of bamboo. The students were taught how to make the baskets, which earn the artisans just thirty baht a piece, by some of the elderly members of the community that run the small, roadside workshop.
Everyone involved was happy with the results and we are pleased to add this location to our growing repertoire of program options.