Chiang mai reflections- day 1
We met up at terminal 2 at 1 p.m. singapore time today and we started to talk while waiting for the plane. There were so many checks that we needed to go through in order to board the plane. After the security checks i was exhausted as i had to unpack and re-pack, as we had to have our liquids out. We waited for the boarding time while watching pacific rim. I was very excited as this was only my 3rd time taking a plane as i have 3 siblings and if my mom brings us all, it will be very expensive and if she only brings me, my siblings will be jealous. The chicken rice served onboard the plane was very delicious. When we touched down, we went to the customs and got our passports stamped. We met our guide and had a short bus ride to get to a restraunt for dinner. The dinner was delicious, especially the tom-yum soup, which i like. After that, we went to the hotel to drop off our luggage and go to the nearby mall to buy groceries and SIM cards. I bought 2 cans of potato chips to munch on as supper if we got hungry. We walked back to the hotel and were given 10 mins to check into our rooms and then to gather at level 9 of the hotel with our LDs and passports. Our team leaders kept our passports for safe-keeping and we started to type out our reflections.
Chiang mai reflections- day 2.
We woke up at 6:00 when the wake-up call activated and prepared ourselves for the hike and the visit to the farm. We went down 15 minutes earlier and we were bored while waiting for the others to arrive. We had problems finding a table to eat at and we were frustrated as the restaurant was crowded and we had to split up. Finally my buddy and I, decided to sit with Mr. Tan. I had rice and noodles and i was supprised that the noodles were sweet, instead of salty as what we are used to eating in singapore. From this, i learnt that different races have different likings of taste. The bus journey up to the highest point in thailand was a long one, but also a fun one as we played many games such as UNO and black jack while talking. When we started to climb the mountain, it was very bumpy and the turns left us squashed together by the centrifugal force and we were feeling uncomfortable. Finally we made it up the mountain and when we stepped out of the bus, we were initially chilled by the fresh, cool mountain air while a few moments later we were warmed by the bright sun that was shining through the clouds.
We took a short hike to the summit and took a group photo. Then we went to the farm market followed by lunch. The tillipia fish served at lunch was extremely delicious. Our lunch was amazing and we all felt refreshed and ready to take on anything. Now, we went to the farm. We had to trek through the farm to collect our soil and water samples for the next day. It was both tireing and fun at the same time until we came to a gigantic puddle of mud. there was no way around it without getting your shoes wet. So we had no choice but to walk through it. Now our shoes are dirty. Finally, we came to the plant nursery. There were so many beautiful plants there that we had our breath taken away. I went to take photos of every single flowering plant that there was. The flowers were in all the colours of the rainbow. After exicting the nursery, we were beat and tired. But we still have 2 places to go, and that was the hill tribe village and the waterfall. When we got to the hill tribe village, we saw a rice plantation and we had a go peeling the rice. We had a hard time peeling it, and I appreciate the famers who have done this for our rice bowl. After that, we went to look at some coffee beans and learnt that there was two types of coffee. We had a taste of the coffee and had a try at the process that it took to make coffee powder, the roasting, grinding and packaging. Each packet cost 100 baht and i bought one packet for my father as my father as my father likes to drink coffee. Just one more stop to go! When we arrived at the waterfall, the spray kicked up by the waterfall wet all of us even before we were on the obvsertory platform. By the time we finished taking our group picture, we were soaked and it was like there was dew on our hair. We boarded our bus and almost the entire bus fell asleep. But we heard that in other buses, they had a ball of a time reclining their seats and having a "roller coaster ride" down the mountain. When we woke up, we were at the restaurant. We had a delicious dinner, followed by some grocery shopping. After that, we had our daily reflections. And to bed we go.
Chiang mai Reflections- Day 3
We woke up at 5:30 am, the earliest time yet, and went for breakfast. I had pancakes. when we were going to depart, we found out that the bus was late and we were stressed as we did not want to be late for school. From this, i learnt that if we may be late, it may cause others to be late. When we reached the school, we listened to a speech first by the principal, followed by Ms. Lee`s speech. Following that, we paired up with our thai counterparts and watched a presentation by our two seniors, jie han and Sarah. As i was in group B, we were assigned the water test kits first. We took our sensors and headed to the chemistry lab. At the chemistry lab, we started to calibrate our sensors and by calibrating them, i learnt that the testing of the water is not as important as the calibration, as if the calibration is off, the reading of the water will also be off. We talked with our thai counterparts, learning their likes and dislikes. After finishing with the nitrate tests, we swapped sensors with another group and did the ammonim tests. following that, we used the dissolved oxygen sensors which were calibrated nicely, but the reading on the data logger was zero. We discussed this and we pinpointed the cause to be that we did not do the oxygen testing on the spot, and the dissolved oxygen had diffused away. We played some UNO with our thai counterparts next and it was fun. After that, we went for lunch. when we came back, we did the arduino project, we did a demonstration of circuit one to show that it is working, then received our instructions and dived right into the project. Things came to a stop when we did circuit 12, where the circuit did not work. We found out the cause that it was that we were using the temperature sensor instead of the transformer as they were almost identical. From this experience, i have learnt to double check everything to make sure that it is correct. I also learnt some of the thai culture, like taking off our shoes before entering some shops and the greeting, where we put our hands together and say the greeting. We also learnt a couple of thai phrases such as hello, good bye, what is your name. We then discussed one scientific project and one engineering project. (more details below.) We also saw a hornet on the golden benches in front of the cheti.
Sci 2 ideas
Science idea- Take water samples from the river in changimai and the river behind SST and test them for nitrate, etc. Then compare them to see if they are similar and if they are not, in what way and try to figure out why they are different.
find out how much radiation is emitted from a cell phone and
check if it is hazadors to human health.
Chiang mai reflections- Day 4
We woke up at 5:30 am, the same time as the day before, and went for breakfast. I had pancakes with some sausages. Then there was the usual bus ride to the school. At the school, we waited for the flag ceremony to start and stood still while the thai national anthem and their school song played. We learnt to respect other`s national songs and school songs as they are as important as ours. Following that, we went to our meeting room, and listened to a presentation on lichens and how they can be used to predict the air pollution in a area as they are very sensitive to some toxic gases. Following that, we were briefed on the project ahead of us, which was to obverse lichens on the chetis and give a hypothesis as to why some sides of the cheti had more lichens then the others. We gave a hypothesis that as the sun rises and sets from the east to the west, thus the east and the west sides would get more sunlight and thus have more growth. When we got back, we had a thai cooking lesson, when we learnt to cook baht thai (sorry if spellt wrongly) and through this experience, i learnt that cooking is not easy and we should respect those who do our cooking for us, such as our parents or our maids. After that, we went to the computer lab to calculate the "greenness" of the lichens and compute them into a spreadsheet for easier data collection. After that, we went for dinner. After dinner, we had a surprise waiting for us. We were about to set off some hot-air lanterns. We learnt that the thai people close their eyes and make wishes before letting the lantern go, and we did just that. From this, we also learnt that different cultures have different practices on the same thing, as for the chinese religion, we write down our wishes on the lantern itself before setting it off instead of just closing our eyes and wishing. Bus ride, reflection, upload, sleep.
All in all, I had a great time at the school and i hope to return next year for more joint projects. The most fun thing that we did was the arduino project as the arduino is a amazing device which allows us to do many, many things with it, so long if you have the inputs and outputs that you need. I learnt a lot while teaching our thai counterparts about the arduino as teaching is completely different from learning. When you learn, you only need to memorise key facts that the teacher explains, but while teaching, you have to explain very clearly as in how to do this and you must get all the facts right, if not your students will memorise the wrong facts and may remember wrongly.