The anti-drug parade.
The tsunami memorial service.
Baan Koh Phi Phi students join
in the drama.
Girish Balakrishnan, Year 13
From June 20 - 27 a group of fourteen students, two Gap Year students and
two teachers from the Regent’s School, together with two associate staff
members from Italy, embarked on a Round Square service trip to Koh Phi Phi
that would have a profound impact their lives. The week’s focus and theme
was ‘IDEALS into action: Now and Into the Future’ which meant that
throughout the week the IDEALS of Round Square that the Regent’s School is
proud to believe in were put into practice through the service we provided
at the local schools and in the two communities.
Our two main objectives were to further help the Baan Koh Phi Phi School,
which is our sister school, and to establish a similar relationship with the
Baan Laem Tong Bay School, which is a school situated in a community on the
opposite side of the island.
As soon as we arrived at Krabi we were received by Ms. Sophia and Mr. Eddie
Buranakul, representatives of the Fahdiow Foundation, a firmly established
organization that works in the Koh Phi Phi region. They briefed us on some
of the challenges that we would face whilst working with the two contrasting
communities on the island and gave us the essential background knowledge
necessary to initiate our service projects.
Brimming with energy and enthusiasm we ventured to the first school on our
agenda, the Baan Koh Phi Phi School, where we were split into three ensemble
groups that we were to work in for the rest of the week. Arguably the most
important aspect of such a service trip is the friendships built between our
students and the children at the local school and in this school, our
students used a variety of rhythm and drama based games to interact with the
younger children of the school and develop a sense of friendship and trust.
When this bond had been created and both groups of students became one, we
started our service projects, which included making a Round Square Garden
for the school, clearing the grounds of the Tsunami Memorial Garden and
All these activities proved to be much more demanding than we first
anticipated them to be, but the rewarding feeling at the end of each project
and the friendships that developed during the course of these activities
were enough motivation to keep us working.
Another major problem that we had to tackle during our stay there was that
of the increasing prevalence of drugs on the island. Through talking to the
Head teacher, Khun Weerawat, and the children we learnt that a lot of
tourists use harmful drugs on the island and so there is a high chance that
the children at the school may be exposed to these unknowingly. To raise
awareness of this issue, the children of the Baan Koh Phi Phi School staged
a “Say No to Drugs” parade that marched through the island. At the end of
this parade students from the Regent’s School put on a short drama
performance highlighting the message of the parade. Without a doubt, this
caught the eyes of everyone on the island and, hopefully, it would have had
a positive impact for the children of the school.
During the evenings, the boys of The Regent’s School engaged themselves in
games of beach football with members of the local community, and what was
truly amazing was that even though we were playing against them, by the end
of the games we became rather good friends with them! And by the way, the
won every time!
We also found time to present some books, donated by Regent’s School, as an
addition to their library stock. On the final day of the first part of the
trip, we had a barbeque at the school and the children of the school put on
some splendid dance and fire shows for us before we had to say our goodbyes
to the local community and continue our adventure.
As a well deserved break from all our hard work at the previous school, we
visited a variety of bays and islands including Maya Bay, Monkey Bay and
Bamboo Island where we snorkeled and socialized for the whole day. By the
end of the day, we became a much closer group of students as we all got to
become good friends with each other.
The next morning we made our way to the Tsunami Memorial Garden to provide a
memorial service in remembrance of those who perished on December 26th 2004.
The theme of this service was “Out of the Darkness: Into the Light” and each
of the three ensemble groups performed a piece of drama, poetry or music in
accordance with the theme of the service. A very sad morning it was, as we
remembered not only those whose names were engraved on the stone of the
Garden, but also those who have perished unnamed and unrecognized. When we
returned to school, this same memorial service was given to all the other
students of the school in an attempt to make them remember and think about
the tsunami and its many victims.
Joyce and Leah make new
Street drama was a feature of
the anti-drug parade.
A percussion group.
The group outside Koh Phi Phi