Location: Thailand

Today we made an appearance at the DPF kindergarten to lend a hand in some manual labor and also doubled as oversize playmates. As we rushed out of our two vans, we were greeted with the gracious bows of Thailand’s cutest six and seven-year-olds. Lining up next to them, holding their hands, we were all herded into an elaborately decorated doorway leading to the foyer of the schoolhouse. Walking through the balloon-boarded door, one of the kindergarten teachers drew two white lines on my cheeks, then lead me to the mass of dancing children. Once the music stopped the kindergartners were separated into lines on the floor, and we were seated down facing them. The kindergartners presented two choreographed dances for us. The first involved five adorable young ladies, dressed in what looked to be a traditional Thai dress, who so very seamlessly used props to enhance their dance. The second groups of girls wore neon pink tutus and danced with both enthusiasm and confidence that I admire; not to mention their hula-hooping was top notch! Proceeding from the beautifully executed performances, we split into five groups and played various activities, such as soccer, musical chairs, and my personal favorite Legos. One would imagine that the day would be a flop due to the language barrier, but in fact, it enhanced the situation. With conversations filled with laughter, hugs, high fives, and smiles, I was forced to have the purest of fun with my little buddies. A smile is a smile no matter what language you speak, how old you are or what nationality you represent. These kids have taught me more in one day than I could teach them in a year. We concluded the day with some service work which entailed staining the wood frames of the playground equipment. Kap Kun Ka DPF.