There was a lot of travelling between schools last week when Year 6 students from Regents School visited the School for the Blind, and students from the Father Ray Foundation made the journey to Regents.
Over three mornings, twenty Year 6 students arrived at the School for the Blind in Naklua for a morning of new experiences.
They walked around the school, met students in their classrooms and watched as they did their lessons. The same lessons as they do at Regents, but done a little differently in Naklua.
The visitors were taught the correct way to guide a blind person, before donning a blindfold and having their friends guide them around the school; you need to have a friend you can trust.
They also learned how to use a white cane, a tool that is recognized the world over, and while the Regents students may never need to use one they experienced what it was like to try and get from one place to another without seeing where they were going.
Writing Braille was another skill they learned, with their eyes open, but reading all the little bumps on a piece of paper will take much longer to learn.
The children from the Father Ray School for Children with Special Needs spent a day at Regents in the music and drama department, and they loved it. They liked it so much that some asked if they could go again, every day! They danced, they sang and played instruments, a full day of fun.
The toddlers from the Father Ray Day Care Center are regular visitors to Regents and it is good to see all the children learn and play together. Local Thai children make new farang friends, and Regents has such a wonderful play room that it is often difficult getting the children to leave.
On the final day of the week the blind students arrived at Regents where they were met by the Year 6 students where, using their new skills, they showed off their school and also explained the planned arts and craft activities. Making play-doh, weaving and making collages were some of the new activities the blind students were introduced to.
Watching the sighted and the blind children together, the children with special needs and those without, the poor and the better off makes one realize that no matter where we come from, what we may or may not have, or what our ability or disability is, we are all the same and children never see the differences.