Oct 232014
 
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Taking Action in Helping Others

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Our outstanding team of fifty six student volunteers set foot in Thailand having raised over BD8,060 / $21,000 for the local school community in Mae Ai, Chiang Mai Province near to the Burmese border.  On day one of the build at the Huay Sala. School, for the first time ever, we were faced with demolishing an old canteen prior to building! The canteen was prone to flooding and needed the floor raising to a higher level. I can’t tell you in words how much these students loved picking up an enormously heavy hammer and battering the walls until they fell. Screams and whoops of delight echoed on the videos, along with skirmishes over who had the hammer next! Finally, the bucket passing and cement mixing commenced and with sheer determination the supporting posts were erected and cemented in place. While one team was building another was rafting, kayaking, cooking, hill walking, camping, climbing or taking part in bow and arrow target practice! Never a dull moment to be had.

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On our final evening our host school put on the most amazing dinner and entertainment. Luckily we had Gabi and Narjes to entertain in return, along with Mohammed who impressed while dressed in his Thobe! A highlight of this trip was meeting the 11 students currently sponsored by various Year groups, as well as individually by Milan Malik and Yousif Al Sharif, the Shamma family, and, to top it all off, Gabi was able to meet the lovely Jane, for whom she has single-handedly provided the fees for three years of education!  Approximately three hundred and fifty students, almost all from the Akha Hill Tribe,  now have three hundred St Chris T-shirts and over 300 library books from Bahrain!  Although happiness and delight prevailed, many tears were shed by our students on departure, some in realisation of what they have and others have not, some because a genuine bond had formed over the week and others because the experience of this Community and Service Trip had ignited a dream, to come back again during a Gap year, to finish what they had started.