working on the organic farm
The organic farm had lots of chances to volunteer. We could do anything from paint houses to landscaping to teaching English to the village kids. I had originally had my heart set on helping the women make mulberry tea by hand. I've never done anything like that before, but my very first day on the farm, Peter and Sylvie asked Adam and I if we wanted to help out with the English classes. We couldn't turn the invitation down.
Recess time: this shoe and rope game was the most popular game at the village.
I'm still a bit weary about teaching English again since my job in Japan is still so fresh in my mind. I never thought I'd be doing it so soon, especially on my vacation! We tagged along and it was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it'd be. It hardly felt like work. There were 2 classes, the first filled with young children, no older than 10. This was, by far, my favorite class. "teaching" them is a another word for playing with them. The second class is comprised of the teens. We were all so impressed with how much English they all seemed to know. Way more than any of my classes in Japan. Sidenote:I found that the poorer a country is, the more English the locals know. Survival surely plays a part in this.
I had only planned to volunteer in the English class that day, but the kids were just too addicting. So many of them asked us to come back the next day. Eventually, I ended up teaching English to them for a week!
At the end of the older class, the students performed a traditional Laos dance and tried to teach it to us too. We were pitiful, but it was still a lot of fun to try! Thankfully, Sylvie has been dancing her whole life and did a Dirty Dancing-esque routine for all the boys and girls. How can I describe to you what it was like to see Sylvie booty-dancing in front of all these teenage boys and girls? Whether the students were scared or impressed, or both, was hard to tell, but one thing was for sure: they wanted more and they wanted to learn how to dance!
By the end of the week, Sylvie gained the unofficial title as the "Hip-hop instructor." Now that's internationalization!