I will try to keep this post related to In Search of Sanuk; with minimal personal updates beyond my experiences there today. The past three Saturdays I have gone to volunteer, well - at least FOUND the two locations for volunteering, with Sanuk my Saturday - a branch of In Search of Sanuk, (Sanuk means fun in Thai). For a better explanation, here is the website:
Today, I handed my new Nikon digital SLR camera (a Christmas present, apologies for still not getting to my entries about December - and SO excited about my camera!!!) over to a small girl. She asked me in Thai several times could she take photos with my camera before I finally asked another volunteer that speaks Thai what she wanted; and then I placed the camera strap around her neck, showed her to put her eye to the view finder, and the button to push to take a photo. The camera was far too big for her small hands. I'm not sure her age - maybe 8? Younger? She proceeded to take several photos of portions of my face - then happily scurried to photograph the other kids and things around the Wat.
I fully expect her to be working for National Geographic in 20 years. Ok, maybe not - but if a way was made for her, she certainly could. This simple act turned into many of the kids wanting their turn taking photos, and my camera was passed around from person to person. I'm not sure how many of the kids took a turn with my camera, but aside from having to give it back - I'm pretty sure they all had a lot of fun. One of the boys even did a pretty good job focusing the lens manually - another documentary photographer in the making. Yes, I was slightly nervous about handing my nice new camera over to elementary age children. But I'm glad I did, and I know they had a lot of fun. I'm going to upload the photos they took, without cutting any, to my shutterfly account - see link on right hand column of this page. No, my shutterfly account is not up to date from a month without my computer. I'll get there. And a few of the photos in the batch of over 100, I took. I'll tag them. Sometime...
Aside from playing with my camera, one volunteer brought a cool game called jungle...something. A game from France involving color and shape matching. We modified it, but the kids loved it. There was also coloring pages with English vocabulary and playing with a local dog. That dog really wanted that sock. Last week was sock puppets - I wonder if it was left over. I can say I wish I knew how to sew a button better from that experience helping with the puppets. Made it work though. Previous Saturday - making play dough. One little girl had the biggest grin on her face as she handed me two yoghurt cups of soupy, purplish play dough mixture. I graciously accepted and smiled as it dripped down my jeans and shoes - she was so happy, it didn't matter. It's amazing what something as simple as play dough, puppets, a card game or using a camera can be to these kids.
Alright, I must be off - I'm keeping quite busy as of late. More eventually. I'm staying out of trouble. Mostly. Also - the photo uploading is going to take a long, long time... they (just the ones from today) may not be ready for a couple of days depending on my internet connection.