Big Buddha (who isn’t actually a Buddha)

May 22, 2017

We started day 4 off by being welcomed into the school and being introduced by the priest. We each received a beautiful floral arrangement as a sign of a warm welcome. We also had a chance to address the student body as Lacey gave a beautiful speech thanking them for their generosity and expressing how excited we are to be teaching at their school.

After the school ceremony, we had a few hours for some beach time. A lot of my friends went on a banana boat and everyone had a really awesome time! One girl however had 4 nails ripped off when she hit the water and was a bloody mess… OUCH! I am really glad I sat that one out and laid on the beach for a few hours instead.

After the beach, we all piled in our trusty tuk-tuks and headed for Big Buddha. As we arrived to the site, we found out that “Big Buddha” is not actually a Buddha at all, but rather a large statue of a Buddhist monk. This statue is unique because most often when there are statues of this magnitude in Thailand they are of Buddha, so the fact this one is of a monk makes it very special. We all donated some Thai money and received flowers to place at the base of the statue to pay our respects.

When we got to the statue, we took off our shoes, kneeled, said a prayer, put our flowers down, lit out incense, put the incense in front of the buddha and rubbed flattened 24k gold on the monks… quite the process! It was a really cool experience to be able to see  it up close and do a Thai ritual. The only downfall was that there was not a cloud in the sky and it was over 100 degrees…. after the beach you can only imagine how burnt we all were!

When we were all finished at the statue, we headed back to campus to begin the sport camp for the students. We divided up into teams and met the students we would be coaching all week. The sports being played are soccer, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.

Today was the hottest day we’ve had in Thailand and the thought of running around playing sports in the heat was not very appealing, but we went in with a positive attitude and a smile and the results were amazing. The students participating were extremely engaged and excited in the camp, something that was not expected of the usually shy Thai children.

I am helping with the cheer camp and we are teaching them sideline cheers and a floor dance! The girls love everything we teach them and they are so eager to learn and constantly are asking questions that they can be the best. It is so awesome seeing such motivation coming from such young children.

At the end of the day we all were walking away very pleased and impressed with the performance and attitude of our students. So far, working with the students has been an incredibly rewarding and heart warming experience, and I  can’t wait to start teaching tomorrow!



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