Name : Jackie Bikker
From : The Netherlands
Period : December 2011, 3 weeks

I was a volunteer for only 3 weeks as an English teacher at the Watlaung primary school in Ban Thing Dung. As it happens I only taught for about maybe 2.5 weeks because in that period the school had a big sport event coming up and English lessons were not on the top of the priority list. The kids had to practice a lot for the big parade which would take place the last day of this sport event. The kids dressed up like real professionals. First 2 nicely dressed girls with the name of the school on a banner, than some of the competitors followed by some flag carriers and last but not least the music band. That same day the competitors also had to perform their best so they could compete in the finals which were going to take place the week after.

Kings Birthday Celebration

To be a guest in the family home from Jack was really special. Jack’s mom is such a nice and lovely lady. Once we had the opportunity to accompany her to a celebration of the Kings birthday and she provided the wonderful Thai cloth to wear. As a volunteer you were treated as special guests and it was unique to be a part of this real Thai authentic event. Jack’s father is a very charming man and likes to sing. He is an important man in his community and has to attend a lot of official meetings. Jack’s cousin Toffee is a very funny boy who treats the volunteers as his own family. He likes to eat whole day, so beware if you want to enjoy some candy or snacks, he is always on the lookout for food!! The rest of Jack’s family, who you will meet for sure at the house of the grandfather of Jack, is so absolutely fabulous and nice, there are no words to describe their kindness, generosity and hospitality. If you see them wearing something you like, beware before telling them, because they will give it away to you immediately ……..!!!!!! How wonderful is that??


Something else you should know about the people in the Isan region is this: Once my bicycle broke down, it was in the evening and already very dark. 2 young boys on a scooter stopped and wanted to help. They tried to fix the bike but it was not possible to unleash the chain, so I jumped on the backseat of a bicycle from another volunteer and left the bike on the side of the road in order to pick it up the next day by car. Yes, you can leave things on the side of the road, nobody will steal it. The next day I went back to pick it up, and what do you think? It was not in the same place where it was left. But, it was left about 10 meters further down the road and it was fixed again!! We will never know who did this. I must conclude, the Isan people are probably the nicest people in the world, so if you have the possibility to experience this, please DO!!! I can assure you that you will never regret it.

With the kindest regards to Jack and his family, to the wonderful children of the Watlaung school, Jackie