This February VSP warmly welcomed Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) to experience the wonders of Northern Thailand with two weeks full of adventure, experiential learning, and five hardcore yet fantastic days of community service in Ban Mae Mae. It was an amazing week packed with all sorts of epic activities like Muay Thai, Jungle Cooking, Thai Language and Culture and to top the cherry on the cake, two fairly new and awesome VSP activities: a visit to a local Karen village and learning traditional Thai music and sword dancing.
Through the lovely local Sangob Foundation, a Nonprofit Organization dedicated to preserving the ancient, artistic and cultural knowledge of endangered traditional Thai customs, MLC students were able to explore a local Karen Village and learn how to perform Thai traditional music and dance.
Upon arriving to the local Karen Village, the focus of the trip was for the MLC students to immerse themselves in the local Karen culture and traditions. The MLC girls learned all about the traditional weaving methods of the Karen women and even got to experiment with the weaving process hands on! The girls absolutely loved learning about about the Karen weaving culture and were able to help the community by purchasing handmade woven bags, scarves, and shirts made by all the woman of the local Karen Hill Tribe Village.
The MLC students also got to take a hike around the local village seeing how the Karen people live their life in a simplistic, mindful and beautiful manner in accordance with nature. They learned how the Karen people sustain themselves through their own organic gardening practices and how they build their homes using natural wood and sometimes position the homes high above the ground. They also got to taste and try the natural herbs the villagers use for medicinal and cooking purposes. After that, they were able to partake in the dining of a typical Karen hill tribe meal.
The following day, the girls participated again in the magic of learning through the Sangob Foundation with a life-enhancing music session with Sangob’s warmhearted music teacher P. Julie. Through his infectious energy, the students got to learn about the art of traditional Thai music and sword dance. It was truly enjoyable to watch these girls learn new instruments, a song, and sword dance in less than two hours!
It was truly an epic week filled with super fun activities and amazing students from MLC. A big thanks to the MLC girls for their awesome attitudes, willingness to openly experience a new culture and another massive thanks to the Sangob Foundation for undoubtedly enriching the lives of students with their Karen way of life program.