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“Pi Lucy”

22 December 2010 6,043 views 13 Comments

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Well I’ve been here nearly a week. I wouldn’t say that time is flying.. I’ve been adjusting to domestic pace of life and also figuring out where & how I can be helpful. I can appreciate that it’s tricky to delegate day to day tasks – I never know what to do with work experience people! – but I had thought there’d be more sort of projects to do around the garden or something. Still, I’m finding my groove and now you can hear “Pi Lucy” all over the place …

getting down to business

I’ve been working with Gai and Sam on selling more products which has been quite a big achievement for the home and for me too. I know that my strengths lie outside of the domestic sphere (sorry mum) but even I hadn’t expected to turn around results this fast.

in the garden

We finally got down to digging the next pond, the one outside the boys’ house. I was happy to be getting on with some real, tangible work and my endorphins – dormant since kayaking in Nai Yang – were also happy to be up & running again :)
Not that I’ve ever dug a pond before and I’m sure they dug the first three using the little garden hoes to flick the soil out but I quickly dismissed this and called for a proper shovel so that I could make some serious progress. I reckon my dad would’ve been well proud :) We started digging in the morning and then again in the evening. The children joined in and there were spades, mud, flip flops everywhere. To add to the chaos, it started to rain but we didn’t stop – the children fetched umbrellas and we dug under shelter. I felt like a right princess, digging with an assistant! It was hilarious though, the rain really came down, we were all laughing and before we realised it the ponds were actually full of water and we were still standing in them. Cue extreme giggles, screams and splashing…
The downside of my Big Spade Strategy is that by 8.30 this morning the job was done! So apart from shaving bamboo poles (and I don’t know why I’m doing that) I’m back to having no particular garden jobs!

teacher Lucy

When I arrived I asked Gai if I could go to school. No-one’s done this before, but Gai agreed to speak with the teacher and today (after finishing the pond) I was dropped at school. I met the teacher at 9.15, at 9.20 I found out I wouldn’t be assisting, but actually taking the 9.30 class, and then the 10.30 class too. Ok then…
9.30 was sixth grade, four 12 year olds. I started with introductions and they found it hilarious to say ‘nice to meet you’ so we did heaps of hand shaking & laughing. Then we did numbers, they could recite 1-20 well but didn’t really know individual numbers so we did some random number exercises. Then bingo that the teacher already had and I got the kids to take turns being bingo caller which isn’t how they normally do it. Once they had a bit of a grasp on the numbers we did telling the time. Again they learnt sequences really well, so we did more on ‘half past’, ‘quarter past’ and random times.
10.30 was fifth grade, about ten 11 year olds. This lot were awesome – really switched on, keen, attentive, very neat and particular about their work, I loved it! Again we giggled through introductions. I got them all standing up and we learnt body parts which was good fun. They were going really fast so I added in some extras, which I thought were tricky but they gobbled the lot up. Whenever someone did something especially good I high fived them or punched them in, they loved it and were all keen to get some skin.

I was so happy to have been allowed to teach the classes and was pleased that they seemed to go well despite no preparation at all! So, I was even happier when the teacher asked if I would please come back tomorrow and do more. Yeee, Teacher Lucy :) They even bring me water, coffee and fried bananas while I’m teaching so it’s totally worth it ha ha.

good plantations

I’ve mentioned elsewhere about how Gai & Sam are working to make Baan San Fan as self sustaining as possible. One of their plans is to grow rubber trees and sell rubber. To show me more about what’s involved they took me to a rubber plantation up the road, showed me the trees and where the rubber is made. All the people working there were lovely, open, friendly, all smiles. I’ve never seen rubber made so I was well excited, it just looked so alien to what I expected. They let me take pictures and join in and then they laughed at me slipping all over the place.

the children

Funny not to have mentioned them til now but I don’t see very much of them really. Mostly the evenings and that can be sporadic. After dinner I tend to go to my house – which is sort of the communal house/ living room – and I just hang out til they turn up to play. The girls liked it when I showed them some yoga moves. Their favourite was when I did wheel because they could crawl underneath me! I also did ‘superman’ with them – used to do that with my brother when we were little – if screaming is an indicator of enjoyment then they were nuts about that.
One evening I was faced with five eager faces and one request: game. I knocked up snakes and ladders on a piece of scrap paper and to be honest, seeing how addicted they are to this I hope they never come in contact with Guitar Hero or Call of Duty… The ‘board’ is totally ropey now but they still love it. I’ll work on a bigger one before I leave for sure.
We’re finding ways to communicate with each other. I’m always quite amused when they just say the same thing over and over, louder, slower, but still the same words. They’re getting used to showing pictures or doing demonstrations, and for my part I’m picking up Thai words and trying to anticipate they want.
Christmas isn’t a massive deal here but there are still some preparations under way. Putting the decorations up was fun and we had a family meeting to plan for the party which was heartbreaking/ heartwarming.
I’m getting to know all the children better and better, they’re all great characters. Some are totally funny. Some are attentive. Some are affectionate. They ALL love the camera, in fact I have to be quick draw to get a ‘natural’ shot of them as it’s all poses and V signs as soon as they see a lens…

munching

  • I continue to be devoured by mosquitoes. To begin with I thought I was getting fat very quickly– which would have to be an accomplishment on an orphan’s diet surely – but I honestly think I’m just very swollen, from the heat and the incredible number of bites all over me. And, this is too ridiculous for words, but I actually got an ant in my pants last night.
  • One week and no alcohol. All I can think about is Singha. Maybe it’s because I know I can’t have it. Whatever, it’s torture.
  • The food is still awesome. Gai & Sam were vego for eight years so she totally knows how to cook for me, and actually, aside from the eggs it’s all vegan which is even better. Took a while to get used to having stir fry for breakfast, and chilli stir fry at that, but it’s all good.
  • Carb count is still quite high and you can add trans fats to the list cos Gai likes to deep fry now and then – deep fried papaya with tofu anyone..? unbelievably good.
  • Despite selling soap, teaching English, bringing new games, it’s possible that my lasting impression on Baan San Fan will be the caffeine addiction that I’ve passed to Gai & Sam, I have them shouting ‘Starbucks’ whenever we make coffee :) The beans are free from Sam’s friend so I don’t feel bad about this at all!

Things are going well eh… I have a feeling this next week will go faster. It’s actually quite nice to be cruising along (well, compared to normal life anyway). I’m doing a lotta yoga, enjoying having a breather and fermenting heaps of ideas that I’d been sitting on for a long time. Am determined to get that pond finished before I leave though…

namaste xLuce

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other posts on Baan San Fan

>

Volunteering at Baan San Fan, Bang Wan, Thailand
Boxing Day, Baan San Fan
Christmas Day, Baan San Fan
Christmas Eve, Baan San Fan

<

down to business.. Baan San Fan
Christmas preparations Baan San Fan
first 24 hours at Baan San Fan
toys, books and fun stuff to take to the orphanage
Volunteering at Baan San Fan Orphanage

13 Comments »

  • Cat said:

    These kids look adorable! Such great stories!
    And yogaLuce, frisbeeLuce, pondLuce and TeacherLuce seems to be fitting in rather well! ;-) (Tho your frisbee technique needs some work!)
    You’re in your element sweetie. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas to everyone!! Much love.xx

  • Mum said:

    All sounds good but where did you get those Turquoise trackies from?I have always wanted a pond in our garden so i know who to ask now.Speak soon love you xxxx

  • Marie said:

    I am loving curly haired Luce- she is a beuaty! Am truely inspired reading all your news and ventures. I look forward to hearing about your “fermenting ideas”- let’s hope they’re not rotten- ha ha!
    I have been having some seruous thoughts about my cafe/card making business with social enterprise element over the last month- let’s chat business ideas when you get back! Love you millions Mxx

  • Marie said:

    Happy Christmas blogging Luce! M xx

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Christmas Eve said:

    […] “Pi Lucy” down to business.. Baan San Fan Christmas preparations Baan San Fan first 24 hours at Baan San Fan toys, books and fun stuff to take to the orphanage Volunteering at Baan San Fan Orphanage […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Christmas Day, Baan San Fan said:

    […] Eve, Baan San Fan “Pi Lucy” down to business.. Baan San Fan Christmas preparations Baan San Fan first 24 hours at Baan San Fan […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Boxing Day, Baan San Fan said:

    […] Day, Baan San Fan Christmas Eve, Baan San Fan “Pi Lucy” down to business.. Baan San Fan Christmas preparations Baan San Fan first 24 hours at Baan San Fan […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Volunteering at Baan San Fan, Bang Wan, Thailand said:

    […] AM December 27, 2010 from webupdate from Bang Wan – digging, playing, teaching, eating, being eaten http://www.lucyjjames.com/?p=3987 #asia #thailand #volunteering 04:42:10 PM December 23, 2010 from […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » down to business.. Baan San Fan said:

    […] Volunteering at Baan San Fan, Bang Wan, Thailand Boxing Day, Baan San Fan Christmas Day, Baan San Fan Christmas Eve, Baan San Fan “Pi Lucy” […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » toys, books and fun stuff to take to the orphanage said:

    […] Bang Wan, Thailand Boxing Day, Baan San Fan Christmas Day, Baan San Fan Christmas Eve, Baan San Fan “Pi Lucy” down to business.. Baan San […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » South Thailand Islands said:

    […] fishing boats and I showed Dad the rubber trees, explained how the rubber is made (I knew from my visit early this year) and we saw some of the rubber mats drying in the sun – I had remembered the technique but […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » SOSA (200/200): doing said:

    […] I went through body parts teaching them English words, I’d forgotten from when I taught in Bang Wan how tricky it is to distinguish between mouth & lips or fingers & hand but the children […]

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Baan San Fan 2012 said:

    […] sweet and talks a lot about how we got the Wicked Diving deal off the ground when I was here the first time, it’s true, that was a massive coup at the time and I’m delighted it’s still […]

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