CMIS actors dance around the North
Godspell at the Kad Theatre, Fang district and Chiang Rai
Autsadaporn Kamthai and staff reporters
Twenty six young singers, actors and dancers from Chiang
Mai International School (CMIS) staged the hippie version of St. Matthew’s
gospel, in the stage performance of ‘Godspell’ at the Kad Theatre, Kad
Suan Kaew on December 3-4.
students acknowledge the supportive CMIS teachers, friends and parents.
Directed by Jonnell Uptin, the musical, which was written
by Stephen Schwartz and first performed in London in 1971, was revamped by
the students. Rachel Filbeck (Gr. 11) was in charge of costume design; Noah
Pollock was sound producer and Sarah Schachtel (Gr. 11) was perfectly cast
as the student director.
The hippie musical, with 60’s and 70’s music, refers
to the last seven days of Jesus Christ and was originally written in English
but the student team translated parts of it into Thai so that non-English
speakers were able to understand it. This fitted perfectly in CMIS slogan of
the year: ‘CMIS gives back’ and showed the enormous potential of these
Energetic, charming, vigorous, delightful and
enthusiastic might be the perfect words to describe the performance of the
whole cast and especially that of the very talented actor, Ben Morse (Jesus
The performance was also staged to entertain over 3,000
students from Rangsri Wittaya School in Fang district, on December 6-7 and
Chiang Rai Wittayakhom School December 8-9.
The comedic parts and the lively music and dance numbers
appealed to the older generation as well as youngsters to make the show
accessible to a broader audience who showed their appreciation with
Jonnell Uptin, who is now in her seventh year at CMIS,
did an outstanding job in getting ‘Godspell’ on the road. The Chiang Mai
community can hardly wait for next year’s performance.
This holiday I went to Zimbabwe, and for one week of my
holiday I went to a national park on the Zambezi River called Mana Pools,
which has lots of wild animals and birds.
my dad, my brother, and I got there, we set up camp in a quiet spot. We sat
around the campfire and told stories. Dad had told me before that there were
hyenas (scavenging animals) which steal your food at night, so my dad said
we should put the cold boxes that had our food in them, in the back of the
truck with the heavy boxes on top of them, to keep them safe.
In the morning we sat around the fire again and my dad
told me that in the middle of the night, he heard a loud sound. There was a
hyena which had knocked the boxes over, and he had bitten the cold box to
try and get in. He did not get anything but a small bag of meat, and my dad
showed me the teeth marks in the cold box.
The next day we went to the bank of the Zambezi and we
fished off the river side for chessa (a river fish). I caught a big one, and
then a few medium ones.
The next day we went with a guide in canoes on the
Zambezi River. We stopped in some places to fish and together we caught
loads of fish, the whole keep net was almost full. My dad told me that there
had been a crocodile accident when some tourists were attacked and one of
them was taken under the water and eaten, so I was kind of scared but I got
over it. After a long and tiring canoe ride we walked back to the campsite
with the keep net full of fish, which weighed a ton!
In the morning we packed up and took down the tent, and
began the long six hour journey home.
Russ is 12 years old, and goes to Prem International
School - Grade 7. He is from Zimbabwe.
The preceding was a winning entry in the Chiangmai
Mail “What did you do on your holiday” contest.
NIS Student Council reaches out to the needy
NIS Student Council President
The Nakorn Payap International School (NIS) Student
Council has started many activities - perhaps the most important being a
recognition of doing good for society as a whole.
the slums in the middle of Chiang Mai.
On Dec. 5, Father’s Day, the NIS Council went to the
Sunday walking street in Chiang Mai to sell charity post cards made by the
Agence d’ Informational et de Mediation Pour l’Enfance (AIME), a French
organization that helps orphanages in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son Provinces.
The council was also invited to go to a field trip with
the psychology class to see slums in Chiang Mai and to see a school that was
established for poor children. While visiting the slums we noticed how bad
the conditions were. An organization that started the school for the poor
children was originally named for a Taiwanese boy, Shek Man Hin, who was
nine years old and dying of leukemia. He received a “make-a-wish” gift
to go to Diseyland, but instead gave the money to build a facility for those
who don’t have enough money to go to school. Although it was enough to
start, the fund paid only enough for 40 students.
Today, the center has evolved into the Phonsawan Child
Development Center (CDC). Billy and Kathleen Doerner, an American married
couple, have now spent 11 years in Thailand trying to keep the school going.
The main goal of their program is now to enable these children to go to
Because many of the children are hill tribe they do not
have proper documentation to prove their citizenship. It will be impossible
for them to be able to get a proper education and job if they do not know
how to speak Thai. To sponsor a child costs only 150 baht per month or 4,000
baht a year.
Also, the weather is changing and the temperature has
fallen. The children do not have any money to buy enough clothes to protect
them from the cold. The teachers and students of NIS have already donated
some clothes but it is not nearly enough. Seeing these children has inspired
the student council to start raising funds for them.
The school principal, John Allen, has advised council
with some tips on charity and one of the ideas the student council picked to
raise funds was to sponsor a child. This means that the student council will
support one child’s school fees for the whole year. Half of any profit
made by the student council from its fundraising activities will go to such
On Dec. 16, the council held a Winter Party New Year’s
Charity Project, which included the school’s talent show and a kantoke
dinner, games and performances by NIS students. Funds raised from the party
will be given to charity.
So if you see us out in our school activities uniforms
selling postcards, buy a packet! And if you would like to help the Phonsawan
CDC, please contact NIS at: [email protected]
Rejoice Urban Project gives children something to rejoice over
Charity’s Christmas party at The Pub
Photos: Michael Vogt
The results of many weeks of work behind the scenes
culminated in a wonderful Christmas party at The Pub, for the children cared
for by the Rejoice Urban Project.
62 children between 2 (the youngest) and 15 (the oldest),
either infected with HIV/AIDS or poor orphaned children who have lost one or
both parents to the virus were brought to ‘The Pub’ on Huey Kaew road to
enjoy the afternoon.
the tireless working ladies who dedicated countless hours to prepare this
afternoon for the underprivileged children in the care of Rejoice. (From R
to L behind Santa), Jo Steele, Dot Delaney and Dot Pitcher.
With donations from the private sector and the US
consulate Chiang Mai, the ladies were busy during the past weeks purchasing
soft toys, such as penguins, teddy bears, games, and small toy cars for
these unfortunate children. (If a child is infected at birth but then shows
no signs of illness in early infancy, he or she may live up to a maximum of
12 years. If sickly from birth, the infected child will normally live to no
more than three years of age.) Rejoice Urban Project recognizes that even
sick kids need toys too, and their project brings a little added happiness
to their short lives.
Forgetting their pasts, the children arrived in a happy
mood, the clowns were ready to blow up balloons, the food (sponsored by
local residents and the Amari Rincome) was enjoyed and happiness was obvious
in the garden area of The Pub.
This year the community spirit was catching, with many
stepping in to help. And it was fun and delight to again watch the children,
who forgot that they might not live long enough to see Santa next year. They
went home with presents, like other normal children.
Many women from the community brought cookies and cakes
and helped with drinks, or just to play with the children. The Magic Show
was a hit once again, and the eyes of the children lit up, seeing a rabbit
coming out of a hat, as did the eyes of the adults, just watching the little
ones have a brief period of joy.
For the 62 children in the care of the Rejoice Urban
Project it was a Christmas to remember. But we should also remember that
these children will always need help. They will not miraculously recover,
despite all the good intentions. You can contact the Rejoice Urban project
via Gareth Lavell at: [email protected] oicecharity.com