Eight LAS students from five countries went on a service and adventure trip to Thailand over spring break. Everyone returned with an appreciation for their willingness to give something new a try. Everyone expressed gratitude for the support of parents and teachers who made this kind of experience happen in their lives.
The first stop was Bangkok where students explored the city and visited the Mercy Center, an LAS designated charity that provides a home and care to orphaned and abandoned children in the slums of Thailand's largest city. Students met with and danced with an array of residents during our tour of the center. We met the founder, Father Joe, and saw that the funds we raised and sent to the Mercy Center helped build futures.
We enjoyed typical tourist activities and experienced the exotic flow of the night market.
Then it was north for an overnight in Chiang Mai and a caravan ride four hours into the country side to the Rustic Pathways' Children's Home in Mae Sariang. Our first night of rural living on floor mattresses covered with mosquito netting was punctuated with squeals of horror and fits of laughter as students discovered their first insect visitors of the journey. The rural setting became our pastoral haven for four nights. We shared the long dinner table with the Karin tribe residents and workers. Meals were buffet-style feasts with perennial rice offerings and daily specials. After dinner, the kids played soccer and volleyball. LAS students helped local kids with homework and taught each other favorite words and special dances.
We traveled to an even more rural village school for two long, incredibly hot days where we built a road to connect a paved drive with a paved playground. Leveling hard packed earth with pick axes and mixing cement the old fashioned way by mixing 20 buckets of sand, an 80-Kilo sack of cement, 15 buckets of rocks and at least 10 buckets of water. Everyone did what they could, even the Karin youngsters from the village school. When we left, the project was complete. No more ankle deep mud and stuck vehicles during rainy season.
If you would like to learn more about the LAS travel program please visit our website by clicking here.