Nok the spitter! (English Camp – Ban Biang School)

 I decided to repress one on my earlier blogs, it’s  one of my favourites. A young Moken (sea gypsy) girl called Nok,  who could spit like a navvy!  

VTT  3 day English Camp. Tuesday Day 1: It was supposedly a day of watch and learn. Those of you that know me well, know that I cannot keep  quiet or still very long and this day was no different! I joined in and gave it everything ( poor little buggers).

The school is called Ban Bang Niang.  It  has about 100 pupils, aged  from 3 1/2 to 12 years old. When we arrived all the pupils were assembled and the Head Teacher made a speech welcoming us and thanking us for giving up our time to do this. The kids we taught were aged from 8 to 12. All abilities and from different social and economic backgrounds.  The kids names were different from what we are used to Cream, Mint, Nok, Mai, Pare, Tiffy, Bow, Bom ,Bang, Tong  and Jom.  All in uniform, all very polite, with the exception of  one girl called Nok, she  spent the whole 1 hour of lesson spitting out of the window. Unfortunately we had not yet taught them in English “No Spitting”. In Thailand spitting is a national pastime and perhaps she was in training for a competition that was imminent. The school fed and watered us, for lunch we had Pad Thai (noodles with shrimp)  The day finished around 3ish, the kids all stood up and thanked us with a wei (bow) Went back to the hotel knackered!!!

Wednesday Day 2:  We had watched and learnt and it was now our turn to run the class ourselves.  We had 4 classes, 2 morning and 2 afternoon, our subject ‘Thai food’ and their ingredients. I guess this was for those kids looking for a career in the restaurant/catering business. Fortunately our class was outside and a little cooler with some breeze.  Nok must have been a little dehydrated, there was not much spitting until the lunch break.

Friday Day 3: (Thursday was a Bank Holiday).  Friday was going to be slightly different.  This meant a early start, VTT office by 7.45, school for 8.00. We arrived to see the kids with sweeping brushes and bins cleaning the yard, all kids and ages were involved.  After this the whistle blew and everyone lined up and sang the national anthem while the  Thai flag was raised. Then we spent the morning on the beach picking up litter.  The hotel that was on the beach front provided us with lunch and water.  In the afternoon we went back to school and continued with lessons.  When the lessons finished, all the kids were presented with a certificate. The head teacher thanked us and presented us with certificates.

Why are we here?  On the 26th December 2004 the Tsunami hit Khao Lak. Over 10,000 people were killed, 80% of the English speaking population lost their lives.  This school lost over 28 children and adults. A tree  was planted for each person that lost their life.  Eye witnesses report that the wave was over 5 metres high when it crossed the road adjacent to the school. Fortunately it was a Sunday and the kids were off. This reduced the loss of life significantly.  Other parts of the village were less fortunate.

English Camp


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