Friday 24th December by Charlotte
(24 December 2010)
Christmas Eve! Today we went into school and spent the morning celebrating Christmas with the students by playing lots of different typical party games - musical bumps, musical statues, pin the tail on the elephant and pass the parcel were all featured!
After a busy morning of entertaining 150 Thai students, the teachers gave us a crash course in traditional Thai dancing. The dancing involves holding one arm above your head with your thumb and middle finger touching and holding the other near your stomach and then moving around the room wiggling your hips and moving your hands from stomach to above head, and above head to stomach! It was definitely an art and although Jess picked up the moves pretty quickly, the rest of us were slightly less naturally gifted!
After our hour of dancing we were picked up by Tip who drove us to a large Thai department store where we were given a minimum spend of 100 baht to buy a secret santa gift to take to the Christmas party that we had been invited to on Christmas Day. The selection on offer was interesting and our gift choices included a flannel, a notebook, some biscuits and various mugs and crockery items - we weren't entirely sure of the format of the secret santa and we secretly hoped that it would be one of us that would end up with the flannel; in hindsight probably not the most extravagant gift!
From the shop we travelled with Tip and he husband up to the mountain where we would be camping for Christmas eve. Many of Tip's friends were also camping that night and we had dinner with everyone and were treated to some traditional Northern Thai food - pork in congealed blood (that surprisingly tasted like tomato puree), pork on skewers, roast chicken, backed fish, chicken papaya salad and, of course, the core staple: rice! The countryside on the mountain was beautiful; so lush and green and we were able to see the sunset on the drive up. We spent the evening practising our Thai, sampling the local whiskey and cooking bananas on the barbeque. We all set our alarms and got up while it was still dark in order to see the sun rise over the mountain.