It has been over a year since I was in the mountains of northern Thailand, teaching English at the Omkoi Bible School and children’s home during the depths of rainy season. I savor every memory, even the challenging moments when I wondered just what I was doing trying to teach English when I didn’t know a lick of Thai. Some of the dearest friendships of my life formed there and my photos of this time are precious. I hope to return, this time with a basic grasp of Thai so I can be a better teacher.
Omkoi is a small town in Chiang Mai province surrounded by mountains and a satellite of villages that rely mostly on rice farming. I was there in rainy season, when the community plants a new crop of rice to take advantage of the rain and mist. The mountains are lush, the pace of life slower, and the people genuine in their friendship. It’s a Karen hilltribe community, one of Thailand’s largest hilltribe groups, and a significant portion of the population are Christian. This was the community I lived with and called my family for the summer, a vibrant, vivacious, and playful group that embraced me into the fold for a short time. I taught English to a small group of young adults studying at the Bible School for vocations in ministry, as well as organized English language games and songs with the 100+ kids staying at the children’s home where they live while going to school in town.
I’ve carefully selected my photos to share from this time – I have some beautiful photos I have decided not to share, for the simple reason they include my young minor aged students from the children’s home. For the photos of my young students I have chosen to share, I have either blocked out their faces or chosen shots showing the back of their heads and they are far enough away to be difficult to identify. I hope you understand.
To view my photo slideshow, just click on the link: Teaching in Omkoi