IVS Visited Grace Garden

Hello! My name is Smile. I came from HSTK school. Now I will tell you about my lovely friends from America. On 6.2.2015, Institute for village studies (IVS) students came to Grace Garden. They were 11 students and 2 teachers. They came to study about Karen people and Karen culture. Also they came to  help Grace Garden .They were from an America university in Washington:Western Washington University.


On that day we did some welcome thing and introduced ourselves. Then we played some games with them. After that we ate lunch together. First we don’t know each other a lot so we don’t talk a lot because we were scared and shy. After we finished lunch we explained to them about our Grace Garden Sustainable Development Training Program and we also explained to them about sustainability at  Grace Garden. Then we divided  them into 3 groups. The names were Branch Out, Kitty Cat Club and Spicy Nuggets. I am in Branch Out group. In the group they worked hard and they were very helpful for us. It was so fun when we worked and cooked together. They were pretty good at cooking. They do their best. Then we showed them our tools in Grace Garden. Hopefully they will do the things that they saw in Grace Garden at their own country. I also hope everyone will do like Grace Garden because it is sustainable.


On Saturday we climbed Love Mountain to the Pagoda. On the way  back we cut some bamboo to make baskets. Each person had to carry one bamboo. They did a very great job cutting and carrying the bamboo. I knew that some of them will get tired because I get tired a lot. Then we went to swim at the river with them. At the river they tried to get on the wood like a boat but it did not work.  At 8:15 we watched movie together. That was a good magic movie. At movie time I fell asleep because I was so tired.


When we climbed Love Mountain with IVS.


On Sunday we made some roselle and banana jam. It was delicious. After that we went to church with our teachers and two of them. Then we went to visit Grace Bording School. It was so much fun because we played a lot of games with the children. The children were very happy when we played games with them. They have a good heart and they all are beautiful. Grace Boarding cooked a special dinner for us. One of my friend said “Today is wonderful day and dinner is so good”.


At night we made a bonfire. We grilled the sausages. Some sang songs,some  played guitar, and some talked.


On Monday we started our class. We, the Grace Garden students, taught them about chickens, the healthy soil cycle, EM (effective microorganisms) and how to plant banana trees. We also did practical things  together; we  made chicken baskets, we caught EM, and planted some banana trees. At the end of the class we asked some questions and we gave them Burmese candy for answering correctly. But there was  not enough candy because they are so clever, they remember all of the thing that we taught. Some time we forget thing but they still remember. In the afternoon  we started class again, and we did the lesson  called sustainable stalker. The sustainable stalker is like we need to observe a person and the next day we need to tell the good thing about them. Then Grace Garden boys taught IVS about how to play cane ball.


On Tuesday we learned about adobe building taught by teacher Salinee. First we cleared the ground to make adobe brick on the ground, we carried some rocks and we finished the adobe tool room. We played with adobe mud and we got so dirty.  At night we meet together and we played games. We played slap game that game is new game for me and I really like that. That game is so hard to look at other people’s hands.



We were having game party at night. That game is called Slap Game!


On the next day we taught them Karen dance and they taught us America dance. When we taught them Karen dance they can follow really well.  America have many type of dance but all are different than Karen dance. I like the song that they dance like ghosts.


Then we worked the 3 stations again. In the afternoon we learned more about the cultures of the Karen and Americans. It was very different between those two cultures. At night  TTC(Teacher Training Collage) came to Grace Garden and we had a big celebration together. We played some games, sang  songs,  danced and ate snacks. We all tried to learn everyones name and  communicate with them. I was so happy because many people were at Grace Garden and we did fun stuff. TTC students are very good at singing so they sang 2 beautiful songs for us. Our Grace Garden students also have to sing but we were not prepared the song yet so when we sing we have some trouble.


On Thursday morning we worked again. In the afternoon we heard about adobe from Gyaw Gyaw. That organization built the adobe building in Grace Garden. We asked them many questions about this adobe building. She explained everything to us. I am thankful that they came and told us more about adobe building. After we finished class we went to Blessed Home and we asked them questions so IVS will know more about Karen people. Blessed Home is near by the river so we went to swim with some of Blessed Home children. We all have a good time at  the river.  At night we make pancake party and we eat with honey and roselle jam. Then we have game night where we played the spoon game. The game was scary because we need to take the spoon for our life. If you do not get, you lose so every one fight for it. It was so fun even though some part of my hand was bleeding.


On Friday we morning we have a small class. That class asked  about how much they understand  everything the had learned, what is favorite thing in this week, and other questions about this week. At 9:30 we have to say “Bye Bye” to them but we don’t want to say that. Then they went back to Mae Sot to travel to Burma country.


On the last day with them.


All the way through this week we have a lot of happiness and joy. My favorite thing in this week is we went to play games with Grace Bording School because I  learned many new games. Also this week we got to know more about  their culture and share about  our culture. Also we did many things in Grace Garden with their help. We thank them so much for helping us, playing games with us,and being friends with us.


Thank you for reading!


This post was written by Smile.