khun tan – then & now

last time it was with a14’s (then a12) class.  this time it was with s11’s class.  and because i’ve become a lazy blogger i’m just repeating the post from last time, with a few corrections.

i just got back from 3 days roughing it with 31 35 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 i’m no longer sure – we were given conflicting information this time.)

at the park we had a welcome and educational talk from a park ranger.  translated for us non-native thai speakers by ajaan supaporn. we were left to fend for ourselves.  turns out it was a thai holiday so there were no park rangers welcome us and give us an educational talk.

after the welcome it was time to begin the 4k (2.49 mile) 5k (3.1 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.

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.  this year the rope swing had special rules.  rules meant to minimize the opportunity for injuries.  and for about an hour they did. and then there was the fractured wrist.  much earlier in the trip than a11’s trip.

my camera broke on day 1 i didn’t have a camera this time, michael took it to nepal. 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 once michael got home, michael used a little force and managed to make the lens go back in and it’s working now he told me he only took a few pics because the batteries died and only got a few pics.  so no new camera batteries for me, just and 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 – including my masterful and crafty pony bead bracelet making.  day 2 we hiked to the summit, had a nature hike, more swinging, water fight, swimming, bon-fire time, roasted marshmallows, skinned some knees, fractured a wrist the return of fractured wrist boy, and told some ghost stories skit performances.  day 3 we found a dead rat, cleaned up the cabins, packed our stuff away and headed down the mountain.  that 4k 5k hike up turned into a 7k 10k (4.3 mile 6.2 mile) hike down.  no parent drivers, we hiked down to the train station.  and waited, and waited.  the train was late.  2 hours late.  felt like 24. then we road the train – 8 baht (.23 .26 us) per student and 15 baht (.42 .49 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 acquired no injuries of my own.

(not mentioned in this post are the rats.  the rats that ate through the creamer bag that was sitting between my head and a teacher’s head as we slept.  like 9 inches away from my head and probably closer to her head.  and the 15 rats that the girls in the cabin next to ours saw while trying to get to sleep the 2nd night.)


thought i’d go for a dip


that’s me.  or rather it’s my upper thigh and lower torso.  what isn’t totally obvious in this picture is that i’m wet.  soaking wet – from the chin down.  and i’m fully dressed, but that is a little more obvious than the wet part.  how does one manage to get soaking wet when chaperoning a field trip?  it’s really pretty easy.

today, the 6th graders – that’s a12’s grade – went to tweechol  botanical gardens.  it’s a beautiful park.  a real tropical paradise.  see…

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*if you’ve been hanging around here very long it might look a little familiar*

this park has it all.  a pool, bikes, paddle boats, swings and slides… there was no shortage of things to do.  and the kids were free to do what they wanted, when they wanted.  none of us adult types where gonna tell them when to eat, or that it was time for this or time for that.  today’s chaperoning task was to make sure they all made it to the park and back to the school in one piece.  easy peasy.

the paddle boats proved to be very popular early in the day.  and once a few kids went out, the rest followed suit.


i suppose it’s possible that maybe we should have taken note when the first two out ended up in this situation.  but we put it off to a tiny bit of naughtiness and were glad they’d gotten that out of their system. silly us.

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you’re probably thinking, “there’s really only one thing this level of craziness can lead to.”  sure wish we’d had the foresight to think that.


and this is how i ended up soaking wet.  in the end, the paddle boat was uprighted, paddled back to the dock and the water bailed out.

did i mention we were only about 2 hours into a 6 hour field trip at this point?  and that i hadn’t brought a change of clothes?

the rest of the day was quite lovely.  swimming and lunch.  more bike riding and flower looking.  and then back to the school with only 2 1/2 days before summer vacation.