The Tuesday before I left Thailand was our last workday. There weren't a lot of us left so I went to DEPDC to take pictures for them. DEPDC (Development & Education Program for Daughters & Communities in the Greater Mekong Sub‐region) is a non‐profit, community‐based NGO working to prevent the trafficking of women and children into the sex industry and other exploitative child labor situations. DEPDC offers free education, vocational training, and full‐time accommodations for vulnerable children and teens who do not have access to Thailand’s public education system. The kids there are INSANE. I have never heard that much noise the whole time I was in Thailand. That day was a party day so they made thank you cards and then once I left to go to the orphanage they watched a movie.
Krystal and Dave
making thank you posters for some of the teachers
Dave hard at work
Aubrey. The kids are very touchy and clingy at DEPDC.
Group picture with Krystal and Aubrey
No one "was able" to go to the Orphanage to help teach with me so I prepared a last minute lesson by myself while eating lunch at one of the little places next to the bus station. I went over to the guys on the scooters for a ride to the place where we teach but they mixed up the office with the actual orphanage. I knew they would too. But I had no way of explaining it to them and no cell phone to have someone else speak to them in thai so I let them take me 30 mins all the way out to the orphanage where I might have the hope of finding someone to explain it to the driver. I am actually really glad that I got to have that last ride out there, especially on the back of a scooter. The drive out to the orphanage is breathtaking and it was a perfect sunny day. The sky was filled with the most gorgeous clouds I have ever seen and the mountains and rice fields were beautiful shades of green. I wish I could've stopped to take some photographs, but the memory is just as valuable.
On the long road in to the orphanage we passed a man driving a truck and I recognized him as one of the teachers and had him stop. Eventually through some broken communication he explained to my driver to take me back into town to the office so I could teach. I was nervous at first because he kept driving in to the orphanage so I thought he didn't understand, but I had a bag of clothes to donate with me and they had me drop it off there (although no one was there to receive them, so I just left them outside the door). I finally made it to the office to teach, but some of the kids were missing unfortunately. But I taught those that were there. They were kind of crazy that day too. The craziest i've seen them actually. After playing an intense game of pictionary, we mutually decided it was time to end the lesson a little bit short. I wanted some pictures with them since it was my last time there but I had no other volunteers with me to help so I finally found one the people in the office to take one for me and then I think Phet took the second picture of me with the little girl.
It was a bit harder teaching them by myself that day, but looking back I am kind of glad that it was just me that got to see them for the last time. I was able to reflect back on all my experiences there (although short). I was there from the beginning of the project and as the lead I got to see it to the end (at least for now). I wish we could've had a party for them that last day, I wish I could've better explained that it was my last day and I wouldn't be coming back, and most of all I wish I could've spent more time with the children there. Paulo, however, knew. I really think he understood that it was the end and he was the only one that saw me all the way out and watched as the truck pulled out that day to take me to the bus station. Since he is a boy he isn't really used to girls hugging him, but I gave him a hug on the way out anyway. He really is an amazing kid and the deepest part of me wishes that he will have the bright future I know he, and all of the children, deserve. He is such a hard worker, and I know if given the right opportunity, he will succeed. On the ride to catch my bus one of the teacher was talking to me in the very small amount of english he knew, and it was so touching. You can tell how grateful they are for any help, because they care so much about those children and want them to have a better life.