HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

We love Thailand Kids Camp

American Embassy visits academic service at Rajabhat University

Fun at APIS Kindergarten

Prem Students receive accolades at International Film Festival

Mail-Order Bride

We love Thailand Kids Camp

A week of fun at Tap La Mu

Somporn Moolsan

Four months have passed since the December 26 tsunami cost so many lives and did so much damage in southern Thailand. Much has been done in the way of cleanup and rebuilding homes and livelihoods. But there is still much to do in the area of caring for those who experienced this disaster - especially the children.

Tan from Kids only cast Chiang Mai with a group of children.

Tap La Mu Elementary School was in the deadly path of the waves. Fortunately, it was a Sunday and the kids were at home. But most of the school buildings and facilities were destroyed. Today there’s a lot of restoration work going on, but not just the buildings.

Sara, one of the ‘Kids Only’ cast was one of about 25 people from Chiang Mai who dedicated their time and holidays to bring some joy for those less fortunate.

Songkran week (April 11-15) at the Tap La Mu Elementary School was a time full of love and joy when “We Love Thailand” brought 125 volunteers from around the nation and the world for a very special Kids Camp. Chiang Mai’s Kids Only cast and production team played a big role in the effort with the more than 300 children attending!

Picture about my life…

The opening ceremony was hosted by the Kids Only cast - Tan, Nan, Champ, Sara and Pun Pun welcomed kids, parents and volunteers with lively songs, dance and drama. Activities for the week included learning English, arts and crafts, character development and lots of friendly competition by way of sports and games.

Team leaders working with the children built strong relationships and became really close during the week. They helped the young campers express their feelings about what happened to them and their families.

Pet and Ploy are twin sisters who took part in this “art therapy” activity. “We enjoyed drawing,” they said. “It made us smile!”

Will this little boy ever forget what happened on December 26? We Love Thailand, a coalition of Thai & international churches and NGOs worked together in tsunami relief in southern Thailand and this camp brought back some smiles in those little faces.

Andrew McDonald is a teacher working in Bangkok who volunteered as a team leader. He commented, “The children are really nice and accepted playing with us.”

Local villagers and teachers at Tap La Mu came to help prepare lunch and snacks for everyone. They were excited because this was the first time a camp like this had been held at the school.

Kids Camp organizer, Kim Quinley, has been working closely with the school and the villagers in the Lamkaen district of Phang Nga since the first week following the December 26 tsunami. Kim reported, “The biggest success of this camp is seeing the joy and the smiles on the faces of the children. We can give them things but that doesn’t mean so much to them as the love and joy we gave them this week and I believe that the memory will be with them always.”

American Embassy visits academic service at Rajabhat University

Watcharapong Jingkaujai

The US Embassy in Thailand sent its representatives, Richard Boyum, head of the English Language Department in South East Asia, and Dr. Suphatra Sutthiluk, information and public relation assistant at the US Consulate General Chiang Mai, to visit the academy to learn about the results of Robert J. Schmitt’s English language teaching.

(From left) Dr. Suphatra Sutthiluk, information and public relation assistant of the US Consulate General, Chiang Mai, Robert J. Schmitt, English teacher, Richard Boyum, head of the English Language Department in South East Asia for the American Embassy, Bangkok, Asst. Prof. Ruangdech Wonglah, president of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, and Asst. Prof. Unchalee Wonglah, director of the Institute of Language, Art and Culture.

Schmitt teaches university students for both master and bachelor degrees at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. Asst. Prof. Ruangdech Wonglah, president of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, Asst. Prof. Unchalee Wonglah, director of the Language, Art and Culture Institute and Robert J. Schmitt welcomed the representatives.

As the results appear to be very successful, and the English skill development passing through long distance communication networks is going well, the embassy has encouraged Robert J. Schmitt to continue teaching in Chiang Mai Rajabhat University for his second term from August 2005 to June 2006.

Fun at APIS Kindergarten

Leonie Croucher

At APIS kindergarten they have been exploring, experiencing and having fun. The K3 class decided that the rabbits should have a new home. They made drawings and after some discussion on price and various other details and a little help from their friends, a new improved rabbit hutch was completed. On the weekend the transfer was due to be made it was discovered that the rabbit family had increased in number! So now the proud mother and the new babies will have to stay in the old one until they are bigger. In the meantime the others have been moved and another set of babies has been born. So if you should wish for a bunny to take care of please let us know as we are looking for new homes for some of them.

Cooking’s fun—and colorful!

The children have enjoyed developing new dance skills in collaboration with the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy, different styles of dance have been introduced with the help of Karin Nicholas, an experienced dance teacher and performer from Canada, whom the children love. We have made one of the rooms into a dance studio with mirrors and the children have great fun watching their reflection as they move to music.

Clearly, our young learners enjoy reading as well as physical activity.

Parents may have noticed that our meals are healthier, with less sugar. Lunches and snacks have also been enhanced by the provision of a new oven in the kitchen so that meals are freshly cooked and do not have to be transported from the school kitchens. K2/1 may have been particularly aware of the changes because of their activities this quarter: Our favorite activity this term was making a chef station; we used flour, colored cupcake trays, measuring cups and spoons, beans and seeds to develop our sorting and measuring skills. Everybody had great fun pretending to bake their favorite cakes.

Prem Students receive accolades at International Film Festival

Urs Jungo and David Michaels

Recently, four Grade 11 students at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School received the “Special Prize of the Jury and the Public” at a French film festival in the Philippines for IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma students. Sonya, Anita, Kikou, and Frida, students in Prem’s French B class, submitted their film, entitled Racines, along with eight other films from three IB schools in the Philippines.

Frida poses in character during the film “Racines,” created by herself and three other students in Prem’s IB French class.

All films presented were produced in IB classes of the participating schools, from synopsis to final script to shooting. The themes and storylines were left to the students to create, but the length of the movie was limited to 7-12 minutes.

The jury that considered the films consisted of a professional film maker, the Director of the German School of the Philippines, and Francois Blamont, Cultural Advisor of the French Embassy in the Philippines.

(L to R) Kikou, Sonya, Frida, and Anita work on a scene for their movie “Racines”, which won an award at a French Film Festival in the Philippines.

Sonya, Anita, Kikou, and Frida not only produced the film, but wrote, edited, and acted in it as well. According to Sonya, “Being part of the whole process was incredibly time-consuming but an amazing experience. It was fantastic to dream up our own quirky characters, turn them into French characters, and then see the final product of all our work. It is gratifying that huge groups of French students and embassy-workers in the Philippines gathered to watch and liked our film.”

The excitement is not yet over for this particular film. The jury recommended that Racines be shown at the official French Film Festival in Manila in May, as part of a series of events organized by the French embassy.

Mail-Order Bride

Prepare for lots of laughs when Grace International School stages its fourth production

Renee Weygandt

Two years ago, Eli Whittier was on his way to Pennsylvania to join the Quakers when his ship was caught in a storm and he ended up in Newfoundland. Since that time, he has been working to earn enough money to bring his fianc้e to join him, while he has become the de facto town preacher. Unknown to him, his fianc้e has married and sends in her place a mail-order bride. And that’s where the fun begins.

Cast members: (top row) Justin Hughes, Joe Tehan, Peter Harris and Bradley Favazza. (Seated) Hannah Hudson, Adrienne Huser, Natalie Hallead, and Stephanie Percy.

“The Mail-Order Bride” is a delightful tale of caring, compassion, and humor as two people try to face the differences of culture and new beginnings, and the town folk learn not to jump to conclusions.

“The Mail-Order Bride” is the fourth stage production for GIS. Grace productions are unique in that they are able to create an intimate atmosphere by keeping the audience close to the action. Eight cast members bring to life the lively and eccentric characters that reside in a small Newfoundland town in the 1920s.

Even though this play has a small cast and a fairly simple set, it still takes many hands to get everything ready for performance. Renee Weygandt, who has worked as theatrical director in all of the past GIS stage-productions, once again resumes her role as director for this show. Jeanette Hall, the school registrar, is the producer and Aasa VanderWaal is the student director for the second year in a row.

In addition, there are many other students and parents who have volunteered their time to help on the stage crew in various ways from make-up and costumes, to set construction and sound and lighting.

Performances are scheduled for May 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. in the GIS Multi-Purpose Room.

Tickets are general admission. All seats are 200 baht and limited seating is available.

For more information or to reserve tickets call 053-442-185 or email registrar๑@