Celebrating Learning at Panyaden
Our annual Year 7 graduation trip is an opportunity to practise and celebrate all that the students have learned from their time at Panyaden. They started at a mountain village where they learned local wisdom from Karen locals who have maintained a traditional, self-sufficient lifestyle in spite of pressure to conform to mainstream agricultural methods, then moved on to a poor, rural school where they taught English and cooked with the children and finished up kayaking at Mae Ngat reservoir.
DAY 1: Huai Hin Lad Nai, a Karen village in Chiang Rai. The village chief taught us about the curative properties of local plants. We learned how to identify wild Assam tea plants and spent the afternoon exploring the hill side, harvesting tea tips. The chief taught us how to roast the tea leaves over a bamboo fire then cure them in the sunshine. We also learned about ‘rotational farming’, where villagers integrate seasonal crops within the wild forest landscape and how the village harvests wild honey and makes honey-infused soap which are sold at the market.
WE LEARNED ABOUT: nature, traditional lifestyles, self-sufficiency, practical life skills, perseverance, creative thinking, independence, responsibility, problem-solving, teamwork.
Day 2: Mae Mae, a small hillside village in Chiang Dao. We visited Mae Mae school, a boarding school for mainly orphaned primary age students from nearby hill villages. Students taught an English lesson to the students, then the two schools worked together to prepare a pancake breakfast for each other and played dodgeball in the playground with balls Panyaden brought and donated to the school. We also explored the local river.
Day 3: Mae Ngat reservoir. We did team-building activities, kayaked on the reservoir, and had fun!
WE LEARNED ABOUT: community service, kindness and empathy, teaching, presentation skills, practical life skills, responsibility, independence, how to kayak, water safety, caring for each other, teamwork.