Boat Week, Baby!

Two weeks ago, we received AMAZING news from Wicked Diving: there was a live-aboard boat available to take our kids out on the water! Last Tuesday and Wednesday, we joined 100 students on that boat (50 per day) for two days of snorkeling, deck-jumping, fried rice-eating, and MAJOR Earthraging fun.

After sailing out of Thap Lamu pier on Tuesday, Lena, Wicked’s resident polyglot/diver/marine biologist/Earthrager, began the day by showing students pictures of local marine life they could expect to see while swimming out on the reef. The students called out the names of the animals in response — “octopus!”, “jellyfish!”, “turtle!” After about thirty minutes on the boat, we arrived at our first snorkeling location. The students could hardly contain their excitement as they ran to the deck, snapped on their life vests and put on their masks. It was time to get in the water! Immediately, the salty air was filled with yells of “Come, come!” and “Look!” Our students were seeing the animals Lena had just showed them!

Our third graders, the youngest students we brought on the boat, showed no fear of the water that morning. They proudly motioned to us to check out the fish they had found, telling us all of the fish’ colors in English — “Teacher, red!”, “Teacher, blue!” — and shrieking with delight. Our older students also had a blast; they took full advantage of the opportunity to leave the stresses of school behind and spend a beautiful day in nature. A few even jumped off the top deck of the boat!

For eight glorious hours last Tuesday and Wednesday, our kids got to be kids, and they got to play in their own marine backyard. What could be better?

Special thanks to Khun Keith and Khun Lena from Wicked Diving, our donors, the Bang Sak alumni, and all who helped make Earthraging 2017 happen! See you next year!

–Ben and Natalie, the 2017 Fellows


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