i just got back from 3 days roughing it with 31 6th graders. and had a blast. and learned some things. we went to khun tan, a mountain here in northern thailand. we spent 2 nights in cabins and even managed to hike to the summit (when i say mountain i know all my colorado peeps are thinking 14er and they would be almost right. if you take away that 1 in the front. yep, i’m saying it was a 4er.)
we started out the day at the school with a small getting started speech – and poorly executed april fool’s day joke – by the principal. then loaded up into cars for the drive to doi khun tan national park.
at the park we had a welcome and educational talk from a park ranger. translated for us non-native thai speakers by ajaan supaporn.
after the welcome it was time to begin the 4k (2.49 mile) hike. up hill. we stopped part way up for a picnic and then continued our forced march lovely hike. where we encountered the first injury of the trip.
as we hiked it began to feel a little land of the lost-ish. it was one of many times when i’ve had to pinch myself because it is sometimes shocking to me that i live here.
our stuff arrived at the camp before us. it traveled by motorbike. on impossibly thin trails.
after we arrived at camp, bunks were quickly claimed and shortly after the rope swing was discovered. actually, the rope swing was discovered first, but the kids were put on hold until everyone could get settled and instructions could be given.
the first swinger is a12, doing a mighty fine job. the second picture is a chaperon. the school librarian. proving that anything students can do librarians can do better!
my camera broke on day 1. which was a bummer, but also a little exciting because that meant a new camera for me! woo hoo! of course, as soon as we got home, michael used a little force and managed to make the lens go back in and it’s working now. so no new camera, just missed photos.
the rest of day one was spent settling in and getting the lay of the land. with a few other educational things thrown in for good measure. day 2 we hiked to the summit, had a nature hike, more swinging, bon-fire time, roasted marshmallows, skinned some knees, fractured a wrist, and told some ghost stories. day 3 we found a dead rat, cleaned up the cabins, packed our stuff away and headed down the mountain. that 4k hike up turned into a 7k (4.3 mile) hike down. no parent drivers, we hiked down to the train station. then we road the train – 8 baht (.23 us) per student and 15 baht (.42 us) per adult. an hour and a half later we were home and ready to spend april break recovering.
or at least that’s my plan. the kids’ seem to have other ideas.
oh, yeah. and i skinned both my knees.