Thursday, 11 June 2009

'...the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.'

'The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.' - Edward Kennedy

While hearing these words its like gentle waves rippling through me, not crashing against rocks, just slowly making their own paths through the water & letting me know that there are no barriers to what you desire to do, with hope & dreams it will come true...

The people I am working with over here at CCT are following their dream, enjoying it & working hard for it & in doing so convey hope & passion in their most natural form. My first workshop here was held at Baan Piranan, a residential home for children with cerebral palsy, run with complete love and dedication by Khun Piranan, an occupational therapist who takes care of the four boys there just now. We decided to plan and run a workshop to introduce a few animals through pictures, sounds and sponge stamps. I was very excited to meet the boys and interact with them through art and play. We started with an ice-breaker and showed the boys pictures of the animals and linked these with each animals unique natural sound played to them through the speakers. The boys responded positively to this and the room was filled with a wonderful combination of children's laughter and animal noises.

We then set-up the art stations and began to paint and stamp with the boys. The echoes of laughter throughout the house from the gorgeously happy Nong Mai who I was working with added to the fun and creativity we were all sharing during the workshop. Through progressive interaction and understanding I was able to connect with Nong Mai and enjoyed tapping the table with him and ringing the bell on his sponge extender while he painted, he also enjoyed holding and tapping my arm while painting. The work produced by the boys was beautiful. The whole experience was amazing and reaffirmed my decision to follow my dreams and study Art Therapy on my return to Scotland. xx

Sunday, 7 June 2009

So I landed here today...

'Attractively sited on the banks of the Ping river & situated amid a lush valley fringed by forested hills, Chiang Mai lies in the heart of some of Thailand's most beautiful natural scenery. Doted throughout are villages & small historic towns, where the majority of people follow the unchanging lifestyles of traditional farming communities. Chiang Mai combines modern city comforts with a veritable treasure house of the arts & architecture unique to the region. Inside the city's original perimeter, still marked by a moat & fortified gates are numerous Buddhist Temples/Wats & other monuments attesting to a distinguished past.'

I think I brought the rain with me to this wonderful place as on walking out of the Chiang Mai airport I was greeted by showers of refreshing raindrops. For some this may have been a slight annoyance, however I was quite amused & also comforted as I left home with rain so it felt nice to arrive with rain. I guess it felt like it was a joining element in two very different places.

Onto the volunteer house to meet everyone I would be sharing my time here with & hopefully get to know more. The house is lovely & we have a garden of plants which is wonderful. Have met some other volunteers who also arrived today (Verena from Germany, Ciara & Naomi from Ireland) and there is another three volunteers (Spencer from America, Sofia from Australia & Hitomi from Japan) staying in the house who I look forward to hopefully meeting soon. So much to take in but my mind is enjoying its wondering thoughts. xx