Freshmen Fieldtrip to the River Kwai
Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
52Trip End Jun 08, 2011
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Every fall at my school they hold a retreat during a weekend in September, for all of the freshmen to attend. They stay two nights at a place, explore stuff, play games, etc. And of course, where there is students, there needs to be chaperones. That's where I came in. As a homeroom teacher of a class of freshmen, I was basically required to attend this retreat. Leading up to this weekend, I was really dreading the retreat. There is just something about spending my weekend with 123 freshmen that really doesn’t appeal to me. But actually, it was a really great time.
The retreat was held at a place called "The River Kwai Village Resort." Now for any of you history buffs or movie buffs, you may recognize that title from a movie called “The Bridge over the River Kwai.” Yes they are the same place
Thankfully my friend Daniel was also going on the trip, so we were able to room together. When we arrived at the resort we checked into our amazing room which was right on the river. This was so beautiful. I don’t know if it compares to the mighty Waccamaw River in Conway, but it sure does come close (that was a joke. This river is 100000 times better). In the evening all of the students played a bunch of icebreaker games, and then were assigned teams for the Ninja games on Saturday. Each chaperone was to be in charge of 12 students as their team, and think of a team color, team name, and create a team cheer. We were the blue team (duh greatest color on earth), and the students chose us to be the Vipers. What is funny is that Thais have trouble pronouncing Vs and pronounce them like Ws, so we were essentially the “wipers” all weekend
On Saturday they split the freshmen group up into 2 groups and one went to the museum and the other went to some really sweet caves. I was with the cave group so we hopped on some Klongs, and traveled down the river to the caves. The caves were freakin sweet. It was really hot in there, but it reminded me of Merrimack Taverns when I was younger and I really liked seeing all the cavey stuff. The ceiling was also covered with bats the whole time so that was pretty cool. But Dracula was no where to be found. Asian Dracula. He can suck blood but cant use a turn signal.
In the afternoon it came time for “Ninja Games.” What this consisted of was 12 different obstacle courses through the woods, such as a rope walk, cargo net climb, etc. Now I was really pumped up for this because not only am I crazy competitive, but I have been taking some spinning and body pump classes and was feeling really jacked up. But it turns out the chaperones were really just the coaches! So I passed on my enthusiasm to my team. There were 11 teams total consisting of about 12 students each team and ever team complete the different stations and were timed for how fast it took the entire team. The team with the fastest time won
When we got back to the resort, everyone was exhausted, and it was time for a some much needed Rj & R. Thankfully, our room had a mini-bar! Ah yes, that needed to be refilled every day. Daniel and I sat on our porch along the river and just soaked it all in. It was really peaceful and relaxing and yet another time that I wished all my family and friends could be there experiencing it with me. After a hop in the sweet resort pool and a power nap, we ate dinner and then headed to the eagerly anticipated freshmen dance. High school dances in Thailand are just like high school dances in America. All these pockets of friends, mostly girls on one side and guys on the other, just standing while the music is playing. And the only people on the dance floor are a few crazy kids trying to dance as ridiculous as possible. Yep that’s about it. And we had to be there chaperoning it for 4 hours! Now they were playing some good music like T.I. and Flo Rida, but no Soundgarden or Boys II Men, so the music selection was just average. And yes, the music that is popular in America is popular in Thailand (if I hear one more black eyed peas song I am going to puke)
On Sunday morning it was my group’s turn to head to the Hell Fire Pass Museum and walk the Death Railway. It was a powerful experience. To think that men carved so deep into the mountains using only hammers and chisels is just mind-boggling. The museum is small but pretty cool. It has a lot of diaries from the POWs working on the Railway and pictures of them
When we got back to the resort, we loaded up and headed back for the 4-hour ride back to school. We were in big travel buses, not school buses, so the ride wasn’t too bad. I did a lot of grading so that passed the time and the kids were pretty beat so we finally got some peace and quite.
So what was Lauren doing through all of this you ask? This was the first weekend that we have really been apart since moving to Thailand. Well as they say, “While the cats away, the mice will play.” Well play she did indeed. Lauren has become friends with this really friendly group of girls from her work. They come from all over the world so it was really an eclectic bunch. Well, Lauren basically just partied and hung out with that crew the whole time and I guess just had a blast
Ok. That’s about it for the weekend. Thank you for still reading if you have kept up for this long. I believe that this weekend we are going to head to the ancient city of Ayuttaya to do some exploring so check back for pictures sometime on Sunday. We love and miss you all a lot and wish God’s blessings for all of you. Thanks for reading!
Keeping it gangster, Asian style,
L & J :-D:-D