This morning, we got up early, got our supplies around, hopped in the car, and headed a few kilometers down to the road to this place.
A few weeks ago, a family in our church asked us and another Thai friend to help them start up an English club for kids in their community. It’s been a dream of theirs for a couple of years, but up until now they just didn’t have the means or there were always roadblocks in their way. Recently, they were given permission to use this building – which just so happens to be right next to their home – for the club… for FREE! The man that owns it allows people to open it up for things that will benefit the community – such as the ever popular Thai aerobics that happens almost everywhere in the country around 5:00pm every day – so, we were most welcome to use it to teach the neighborhood kids. Great, huh?
So, the club will now meet every other Saturday for the next school term, from 10:00 – 11:00am, and will focus on basic English skills and conversation. However, as with nearly anything in Thailand, things don’t ever begin on time or turn out the way you plan. After an initial survey of the community, we expected about 7-8 elementary aged kids to show up at 10:00… and they came, at 10:30, of course.
So, we began at 10:30. But, then, as we taught… more and more kids just started filtering in. By 11:00, this is what it looked like in there!
We ended up with 23 kids, plus a couple of really little ones and a few moms in the back. What?! They all seem to be between the 3rd and 6th grade, with 19 of them being able to at least write in English. (Whether they understand the words or not, they’ve at least mastered English script – this is a big plus!)
After the club finished around 11:30, a couple of the moms and another young lady from the community approached us about perhaps teaching them some English, too! When we lived in Thailand the first time (back in 2005), that was actually what we did more of – teaching conversational English and providing a place for language practice for college students, young adults, and other professionals – so, it’s definitely something we could do. However, with the baby coming really soon, and just getting our foot into this neighborhood, I think we’ll just stick with teaching the kids for a few months and allow the adults to sit in. After we can spend a little more time getting to know people, become familiar with their needs, and get through this giant personal transition coming up in our own lives, we’ll see how we can work in another class for the older people.
We’re pretty excited about the possibilities and opportunities that are opening up (so quickly!) as a result of about 2 hours spent in their community!