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This year, we were spending our holiday differently and smarties were extremely excited about it because we had a mission. Our mission was to do charity while on a holiday.
Smarties have always been aware of the word “underprivileged”. They are aware that there are children who couldn’t afford school, stationaries and even a pair of shoe. They have donated their toys, clothing, stationaries to the underprivileged but was always to a third party.
This school holiday, we made the difference. We found a foundation that not only supports local children in their development with customized medical care and education for the underprivileged children, they also support children with disabilities or learning disorders. I showed them pictures of the children and smarties got even more keen to help them out. We worked together on getting the gifts, packed it and got ready to meet them.
Our first day of the trip, mei mei encountered a panic attack. She lost her bag at the airport while we were waiting to transfer our flight. I was expecting her to throw a tantrum and make a huge fuss by crying for her bag. But she didn’t, although she was looking real tensed, she calmly followed our guidance and found her bag at the information counter. Since then, she became more aware of her belongings. We validated her feelings, she understood it and she was happy again.
The rest of the journey was smooth. The moment we reached, it was raining cats and dogs. We didn’t manage to go to the school to meet the children, hence smarties stayed indoor and had some fun time with the friendly staffs of the resort who played with them for the afternoon.
Still, smarties were still looking forward to meeting the children. They got to meet the children the next day and we had a day of fun learning and playing with them. Check out their happy faces.
Loving how the lesson was conducted as there were loads of activities where the children got to move around, explore and be in connection with nature. Although smarties couldn’t speak Thai and the children couldn’t speak much English, the language didn’t stop them from communicating and learning together.
At the end of the lesson, on top of using the “natural ingredients” found in the nature to make the mandala (which was the topic of the day), they formed the mandala themselves. All the children joined in and played their part. I saw a huge amazing teamwork there. It was a very sweet and wonderful sight!
Did I tell you that our meals were all freshly picked and prepared? What do I mean? Check out what the children were doing. The children would pick the fruits and vegetables from the mini plantation. At the same time, there would be nuggets of tips given by the teacher about the food that they have picked. E.g. which part of the fruit can be eaten, is it ripe yet?
They even went to pick the eggs freshly laid by the chickens or should I say hens? It wasn’t a pleasant smelling place but the children had fun “hunting” for the eggs. Nope, it wasn’t the Easter eggs hunt. It would be fun if it was because we got to paint the eggs!
Finally, it was back to the kitchen and the children got to help out preparing the dishes. Smarties were busy cutting the unwanted part of the mushrooms while the other children were busy with other roles in the kitchen.
At last, a full day of “study” and work, the food was ready. Smarties were feeling accomplished because they got to learn and played with the children. They learned about animals and food cycle. They learned about teamwork. Although the cooking wasn’t done by them, they were definitely feeling great having to play a part in preparing the dishes for everyone there. Smarties enjoyed tremendously the time spent with the children and everyone else.
The most blessed part of the day was where we were able to make the children’s eyes twinkle with joy when smarties were giving out stationaries to them. The greatest joy came when smarties told me how full their hearts were after they have given out the little presents to the children and seeing them beaming with joy. The day also taught smarties to be responsible, selfless, kind, caring and loving.
The rest of the day was just relaxing and connecting with nature at the stream near our resort. Smarties were so thrilled with the water gushing through their toes and feet. It felt like feet massage. There were different types of stones and pebbles at the stream where smarties had an awesome time exploring the different textures as it helps to widen their sensory experiences. Look at their happy faces! Yep, the water therapy makes people happy!
We love how our holiday is being spent meaningfully with the people here. We love the disconnection from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life and got connected with nature here. Getting away from the concrete jungle and to this natural jungle was what we needed because nature-connectedness can boost a person’s happiness and self-satisfaction. On top of that, we got an unlimited amount of fresh air too!
Do you remember when was the last time you disconnect from your usual busy schedule and connect with nature?
How often do you and your children connect with nature?
When was the last time you fully relax and enjoy the moment?
**We had more interesting days ahead so do stay tuned to our next blog post on our “Awesome Family Holiday for Charity (Part 2)” 😉