The Aggie Service Learning Trip 2011 was all about adventure, team building and most importantly selfless learning. We left Doha, 12 students with two of our advisors, ensure of what we would be facing in Thailand. We were back 9 days later, all our clothes soiled from the adventure and fun, completely exhausted but totally content.
Every day was a new adventure. Though we would have a basic idea of what we would be doing each day, we were always taken by surprise by the intensity of the activities. We learnt to overcome our fears – be it that of darkness, heights, steps, insects or even snakes. We got a chance to go Kayaking, an activity which was new to most in the group and we had a great time even though some of our kayaks flipped in the rapids. We also got a chance to explore 3 caves; each one more adventurous than the last. By the last one, we were accustomed to crawling on our bellies to get through cave entrances. We also got a chance to see a snake show which freaked some members of the group, while others took pictures with the snakes and even kissed them. On the day before we left Thailand, we went to Chang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, where we climbed rock walls and rappelled down cliffs.
The trip was also a lot about team building. We started our time in Thailand by spending a whole morning doing intense team building activities. Over the week, we worked together both as large and small teams to accomplish the various tasks set for us. We worked and played together through the sunshine and the rain. Memories of singing in the rain on the back of a pickup truck and playing football in the rain on a slippery field won’t be forgotten by anyone in the group for a very long time.
The most important part of the trip though was the selfless service. We painted a library, build a wall and plastered it in the 3 days of service that we had. It was heartwarming to see all our work come together to create something which would help the students of the school in a small village in Northern Thailand. We will most probably never get a chance to see the students whose lives will be enriched by the work we did there, but every member in the group knows that they did what they could to help the lives of the children there become a little bit better.