I never knew that one week on a school trip would have created such a great effect on my life. GCW Maekok has helped me understand deeper about my home country. Not only did it bring more knowledge to me about Thailand, but I had the chance to get to make friends with people whom I rarely see at school. I am grateful for this experience because it has taught me that there are so many less fortunate people in our world who have much greater needs than we do. This trip did not only teach me that they need our help to improve the children’s learning environment, but I learned that the children in the village wanted love and care from us.

As the days progressed, I was able to connect deeper with the kids at the school. I discovered many talents hidden inside them and many different personalities. Although the kids lived in the same community, they were very unique in their own ways. Some of them could speak four languages and others could play soccer very well. It was great to interact with the children directly instead of only helping them by donating money. I believe that when we play with them or just by holding their hand, they feel loved and happier. This trip might make the children very excited and that this might be a once in a lifetime experience for the children; while on the other hand it might be a small event for us because it is our school trip, but it has changed who I am because I was able to understand how such a small contribution to another human being can make such a huge difference.

Apart from the community project, all the activities that we did built a stronger relationship for my friends and me. It showed the different talents hidden among my peers that were interesting and creative. Many things that we did on this trip would not have been possible to do at school. My favorite activity was raft building and rafting down the Maekok River. It brought my team mates together because we had to cooperate and work as a team to be able to succeed. I also learnt skills that would be useful outside of the classroom such as tying knots. Another activity such as cooking Thai food was very exciting because I rarely cook food for myself to eat. These experiences contributed to me directly as well as other people.

A common challenge was set for every one of us. We all challenged ourselves to disconnect to connect, and challenged ourselves to have a meaningful conversation with another person. I liked these challenges since we do not have the opportunity to perform it in our usual everyday life. To experience one week without access to communicating devices helped me come together with other people and learn so much more than I would have if I had technology. I was able to have meaningful conversations with many people whom I would never have at school, and to do this made me feel happy that one change in my life can create a great outcome. This trip has given me memories that will last for a lifetime.