My name is Nicole and I am currently a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Province of Chumphon, Thailand. I wanted to thank you for your many books on the beautiful nature in Thailand, but especially for your book As If The Earth Matters.
I recently purchased and read the book in anticipation of the annual “English Camp” we have for the students in my community. Your book was an invaluable resource for my planning for and subsequent success of the camp.
The camp consisted of one hundred and fifty students ages eleven to fourteen, six Peace Corps Volunteers, seven Thai English teachers and local government office staff. This year the camp was held at a King’s Royal Project area in Amphur Pathiu, Chumphon where I live.
The project area is located on the beach and holds the only sand dunes left in Thailand along with a costal forest eco-system. It was the perfect opportunity to turn the standard english camp into our first “Environmental English Camp!”
After reading your book I was able to plan over ten EFL lessons based on the games and activities. Greet a Tree, Simple Bear (adapted to be Monkey) Necessities, Beach Life Bingo and Bear, Bug, Frog were some of the favorites, but we also used Web of Life, Duplication, People to People, Snail Trail and Echo Location.
Using these games and activities was an opportunity to show the students, Peace Corps Volunteers and Thai teachers that you can make EFL lessons that have a deeper meaning for the students. Each lesson had a “Reflection” section at the end where the Thai teacher would speak to the groups in Thai about the eco-concepts and deeper meaning of the lesson.
The sessions were really enjoyed by the students, volunteers and the teachers. It gave everyone an opportunity to see that we can teach English and have fun and integrative lessons about nature and the environment. In this land of palm oil and rubber trees, reminding students that diversity and care of the land is vital to sustaining not just the environment, but also their livelihood.
We also had a a tree planting at the end of our four day camp to reinforce our role as “reforest-ors” of this land. Thank you for publishing such a wonderful resource for those looking to get students outside and into nature.
My previous experience before joining the Peace Corps was in business, so this is all new to me. After living in Thailand for almost two years now I have found a new passion for the Earth and a desire to educate others of the crucial role we play in keeping it healthy and sustainable.
This Camp was a highlight of my Peace Corps service, and something I hope to work more with in the future.
I am recommending to the Peace Corps headquarters in Thailand that they obtain copies of your book and make it a resource for all volunteers. All the volunteers that came to help loved it and wanted a copy themselves. I have attached some photos for you from the camp. Thank you again, you really have inspired and reassured me to pursue a life towards conservation of nature, activism and education of others.
US Peace Corps Thailand
Community Based Organizational Development Volunteer