HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kids' Corner

Blind students win scholarships

Children’s Art Contest

Kardinia International College Visits Prem

International Day at Payap University

Loy Krathong Festival at NIS

Kids' Corner

Marvin has decided to start growing a garden. I think that is a great idea because I really like flowers and plants. The first thing that Marvin though about is what kind of garden he wanted. We don’t have a lot of space around our house so he has decided to grow some nice flowers that don’t take much space.

He wanted to grow a big tree so that he could climb it, but we don’t have any space and besides that it would take a very long time to grow.

Marvin makes sure that he waters his garden every day and it is growing very well. He had to be careful where he planted the seeds, too. Some plants like lots of sunshine but some plants like only a little bit. It can be a bit tricky growing plants but it’s lots of fun.

Have you ever tried to grow a garden? Write to Marvin and tell him about it. You can send your letters to:

Marg & Marvin
Chiangmai Mail
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate
Muangsamut Road
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145

Here are some interesting facts about plants that Marvin found out:

The world’s tallest tree is in Redwood National Park in California. It is a giant sequoia tree and it is 365 feet high (about 111 meters)!

The world’s oldest living tree is also in California. It is a bristlecone pine tree and it is 4,700 years old!


1) What travels all around the world, but stays in one corner?
2) What did the monkey say to the vine?
3) What do mice wear when they play sport?
4) What kind of fruit is never alone?


1) A postage stamp
2) Thanks for letting me hang around
3) Squeakers
4) A pear (pair)

Bye from Marg and Marvin

Blind students win scholarships

Chin Ratitamkul

Two blind students from the Northern School for the Blind, Busaba Pota and Nopanai Kanjana, received scholarships after entering an essay competition.

Nopanai said, “We do not have the same chances as ordinary people and I beg everyone to think about the value of humanity.”

Busaba said her parents had divorced when she was born and her father had passed away when she was only one year old. Consequently, her grandmother brought her up until she was six when she entered the Northern School for the Blind. After the death of her grandmother, the school had come to support her.

Busaba’s parents divorced when she was born and her father passed away when she was only one year old.

The other recipient, Nopanai, came from a poor family. His father was a janitor and his mother a seamstress. They were unable to send him for further education until he won the scholarship. At the press conference held at Chiang Mai City Hall, Nopanai showed a great awareness of the problems, saying, “Almost everyone thinks that being disabled means the person has no ability, but it’s not true. We do not have the same chances as ordinary people and I beg everyone to think about the value of humanity.”

Children’s Art Contest

Design a poster with the theme: “Payap University - 30 Years”

Payap University, founded in 1974 by the Church of Christ in Thailand, was the first private university charted in the Kingdom of Thailand. Payap University, whose motto is “Truth and Service,” is well known throughout educational circles in Thailand for producing quality graduates. Due to their 30 years anniversary, they will be hosting a drawing contest with the Theme: 30 Years - Payap University.

There are two categories for participants:

1. Junior High School students from 7th - 9th grades (M. 1-3) or

2. Senior High School students from 10th - 12th grades (M. 4-6)

Interested students should register by January 9, 2004, either by mail to:

International Affairs Office
Payap University
Chiang Mai 50000 or by telephone or facsimile:
Tel: 053-304805 ext. 7227
Fax: 053-245353

The contest will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2004 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sai Than Tham building at Payap University, Mae Khao Campus. Payap University will furnish all art supplies for participants. Participants must use these supplies in order to maintain an equal opportunity for all. The university will also supply drinks and lunch for all participants.

The prizes that can be won include a certificate for the prize winners’ school, and a scholarship and certificate for each prize winner.

First prize: certificate and scholarship of 5,000 baht. (One for each category.)

Second prize: certificate and scholarship of 3,000 baht. (One for each category.)

Third prize: certificate and scholarship of 2,000 baht. (One for each category.)

All artworks produced will become the property of Payap University and may be used for exhibition and advertising.

Kardinia International College Visits Prem

Katherine Voll

For eight weeks nineteen Grade 9 students from Kardinia International College in Geelong, Australia are living, learning and having a great time at the Prem Center for International Education. Kardinia arrived on October 6 and will be staying until November 28 as part of Prem’s Visiting Schools Program.

Kardinia students hard at work building a water supply for a Lahu School which is located in a remote hill tribe village.

Over the course of their stay, the students will go on a “Magic Eyes” Barge Program trip, take a meditation course, learn Thai cooking and Thai massage, go trekking, do community service in a local hill tribe village and generally immerse themselves in both the Prem community and in Thai culture.

The students work on their leadership skills - and try not to get to wet!

“Everything we’ve done has been fantastic,” said Philip Humphries, a history teacher and one of the supervisors from Kardinia. “The main purpose of this program is to help these 9th graders think about where they are in their own lives. We want them to recognize cultural differences, but also be able to look through the differences and see the similarities.”

During the community service portion of Kardinia’s program, Kardinia students traveled to a Lahu School, located in a remote hill tribe village, to build a water supply system. At the end of their hard day’s work, Kardinia students came back, tired, but smiling.

Kardinia’s program is based around both personal growth and cultural awareness. All of their activities are designed to push the limits of what the students are used to, forcing them to think differently both about themselves and about the world.

Kardinia teachers try their hand at a Thai dance- and it looks- hmpf, not very successful - but fun!

In their first few days at the Prem Center, Kardinia students participated in the “Working Together” Program, an intensive course aimed at helping the students develop more effective team leadership and team membership behaviors. This course was led by Michelle Forbes-Harper, director of the Visiting Schools Program at Prem and a consultant for the Macdonald Associates Consultancy, an international training organization.

Massage lessons are hard work!

During the community service portion of Kardinia’s program, Kardinia students traveled to a Lahu School, located in a remote hill tribe village, to build a water supply system. At the end of their hard day’s work, Kardinia students came back, tired, but smiling. Activities like this service project are what make Kardinia’s visit far more than just a tourist’s introduction to Thailand.

“We want to give these students a life-changing experience. We want them to explore issues like religion, conservation and globalization on more than just a surface level,” said Michelle Forbes-Harper.

Students learn how to dance, Thai style - it looks so easy, but it’s anything but...

This year, Kardinia is one of over 50 different school groups (in total, more than 3,000 students) from more than 15 countries that will visit Prem, through the Visiting Schools Program. This highly successful program has grown by leaps and bounds in the past two years of operation. Part of its success derives from its commitment to pre-arrange and organize all of the students’ activities during their stay, working closely with the group leaders, provide a program suited to each group’s educational needs and interests. While each program may vary its focus and range of activities, they all share the objective of educating students about Thailand while promoting personal growth, and, of course, having a great time.

Kardinia’s stay has also allowed for a lot of interaction between Prem and Kardinia students. Kardinia has been included in several events with boarding students, adding even more diversity to an already international community. Prem also hopes in years to come to be able to include Kardinia in classroom activities on subjects like conservation.

Together, Prem and Kardinia have big plans for the future. Kardinia hopes to use Prem as its permanent offshore campus. If all goes as planned, by 2005 all of Kardinia’s Grade 9 students would come to Chiang Mai for an eight week stay at Prem. Based on the tremendous success of this year’s pilot program, these plans seem very exciting indeed.

International Day at Payap University

Phornpimon Thimsat
and Natchawi Srirat

The 1st International Day at Payap University was held on the Mae Kaow campus. The event included many ‘national’ activities such as an international buffet, cultural displays, games, contests, live music and an international talent show which was performed by foreign exchange students. For many people this was their first chance to see foreigners attempting Thai dancing.

Savor the flavor - Martha Butt’s welcoming speech.

Vice President Martha Butt, who was in charge of the organizing committee for International Day said, “The aim of this International Day is to promote and celebrate the diversities of the activities at Payap University. On this occasion, all our international students have come together to share their experiences of living in Thailand.”

There were 24 flags flying at this event representing the 24 different nationalities among the Payap students and faculty population including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Korea, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, Vietnam, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Holland, Norway, Singapore, Thailand, USA, UK, Mexico and Cambodia.

The buffet line was the most crowded place on the day.

With a warm welcoming atmosphere, excellent food and shows, it was something that all the participants will remember. “The atmosphere of the party made me feel warm. There are lots of people joining the party and the food is excellent. This party brought me the opportunity to meet new friends and share my experiences with other people,” said Meredith, an American exchange student from the University of Oregon. Thailand is always the warm second home for everyone.

Flags from some of the 24 nations represented.

Soothing sounds from a sax and guitar provided the musical entertainment.

Loy Krathong Festival at NIS

Nakorn Payap International School (NIS) held its own Loy Krathong Festival on November 7, when students of all grades were part of a traditional Thai fashion show, followed by a Kratong-making afternoon.

Grades 2 and 4 line up for the fashion show.

In the elementary school, winners of the costume contest were by coincidence a brother and sister, Usman and Zainab Wani. Mr. and Ms. Krathong for the upper grades were Jun Ho Park and Kelley Hotti, while most popular were Kaweewit ‘Dow’ Keawjinda and Napatsorn ‘Mint’ Laohacharoernyos.

In the Kratong-making competition, those judged most beautiful were made by Roongthip ‘Ying’ Srisai, Wantanaporn ‘Ait’ Sgnuannapaporn, followed by Kritsadadej ‘Pat’ Puingsaeng, Nirin ‘Nina’ Khanijou and Chanokkamoh ‘May’ Mussuree.

For their efforts they received ice-skating and movie tickets.

“There were really some beautiful traditional costumes,” said NIS Principal John Allen. “And the Krathongs were truly impressive.”

The event was organized by the NIS Student Council, whom Mr. Allen credited with hard work and creative ideas.

Nathalie Suguiura with her kindergarten Krathong.

Zainab and Usman Wani, Mr. and Ms. Krathong for the elementary school.