For this year’s GCW, I went to Maekok River Village Resort, in the north of Chiang Mai.

Over the course of the week, I learned about some issues of cultural diversities, and the importance of trying to interact and live with environment, not destroy them to make living convenient.

The region where the resort was placed at, north of Chiang Mai, consisted of tribes with different culture and ways of living. They were people from neighboring countries/regions such as Laos, Burma, and some other Asian countries such as China. They use their original languages to communicate, they have their own culture. And we visited one of the surrounding tribes during the week. One thing that surprised me was, the level of living condition. The village was located on top of a hill, where you have to hike abrupt and steep uphill for about 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes of bus ride from the nearest town), and there seemed to be almost no electricity. On our way to the village we saw a old woman going up the hill with a huge basket full of fruits in it, and we were amazed by her because most of us were complaining about the steepness and the bad condition about the road. Their houses were constructed by bamboo trees and other trees. Under such harsh condition, they were still making their livings. From this experience I learned how blessed and lucky I am to live in such a developed technology, and that these different types of living, interacting and fitting int0 the environment rather than changing it so that the environment fit the people, do exist.

I also got to interact with the people. The tasks we had to complete for our GCW was to build and to teach English at the local school. There, I tried to teach the kids from elementary school. The kids were from different tribes, and the guide told us that they speak their own languages back home, and they come to learn how to speak Thai and learn in Thai. I thought the attempt to interact kids from diverged cultural backgrounds is really important, because that will help them go out to cities closer to Bangkok and get a job, helping their parents financially back home. If they stayed in their villages, they might satisfy their parents minimum needs as a workforce, but not as much. This strategy of sending their kids into cities to work, has some weakness as well. And one biggest weakness is that because they are from different cultures, it will be difficult for them to fit into the society. This issue should be fixed while the kids are young, and that is why I felt that them interacting with us was such a good opportunity.


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