From Amsterdam into the jungle

She is six years old and her name is Sabine. Her hair is blond, her eyes are blue: something that people in Paksong – let alone Thailand – seldom see. Normally she lives in Amsterdam, Holland, but now Sabine is with her little brother Bjarne and her parents on a big trip in Asia... on an adventure, first to Thailand and later to Malaysia.

Sabine thinks everything in Thailand is different from Holland. The people talk differently, eat differently, live differently and look different. Sabine and her family spent 2 weeks of their big trip with TCDF in Paksong.


It was not easy to come to Thailand, because Sabine did not have a school holiday yet. But she did get permission to go, because TCDF wrote a letter and invited her over to come to the Special School of the Foundation.


So she came, and she did visit the Special School. She spent some time with the Special Needs Students of TCDF and she played and made art and learned English with all the neighborhood kids from Paksong in the Special School.

Family at work: treeplanting.
Family at work: treeplanting.

Sabine learned and did a lot of things:


  • She saw a lot of jungle animals for example: geckos and salamanders and butterflies and a lot of ants too. She also saw the biggest frog she has ever seen!
  • Together with her family she worked in the gardens of TCDF. She took a lot of cuttings from many bushes and trees and she replanted all of them. Her daddy made all the holes.
  • She rode on Pompom, the horse of TCDF. One time even without a saddle!
  • She did some Thai cooking with Air, the cook of TCDF. Initially she was going to make dough-triangles stuffed with vegetables, but she ended up making hearts and little rolls from the dough, because that looked much nicer.
  • Together with her family she learned to write their names in Thai. And that was pretty difficult, because Thai writing is so different from what she learned in Holland.
  • She can say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in Thai.
  • Sabine planted a tree with her little brother. A tree that will have a lot of beautiful flowers later. Maybe one day when she is big, she will come back to Thailand; the tree will be big then too!
  • Just to make sure everybody knows it was her and her brother’s tree, they each decorated a big stone. The stone has temples and many other things on it and Sabine put hers right in front of the tree for everybody to see.
  • Together with her mother and Ingrid, Sabine visited a Thai primary school. Together with students of her own age she had an English lesson there. The school was very different from her school!
  • Together with her family she went shopping in the city of Ranong and there they bought all kinds of things to give to the Special Needs Students of the Special School. Other shoppers thought it was a bit funny to have so many diapers in the shopping cart in the supermarket though!
  • She went to outdoor markets and the hot springs in the car of Pee Tone which was almost one hour driving through the mountains.
  • She tasted and ate many different and new things, but for breakfast there were also pancakes and the best peanut butter in Thailand. There was a lot of fruit too, and Sabine decided the best fruit was watermelon. Every day Sabine and her family had dinner and lunch on the big round table in the restaurant of TCDF with people from many different countries, like Thailand, Japan and France.


And now Sabine left TCDF to continue her adventure. To the beach!


When she comes back home in Amsterdam she will tell her friends in school everything about the jungle and the geckos that make so much noise. She will tell about all the things she has seen and done. And she will plant some Thai herbs and watermelon in the garden of her grandfather.


Imagine, being six years old, and being able to go on an adventure… To be able to share and explore a whole different world with other children!


For the children in Paksong Sabine’s stay was an adventure also.

They were to meet beautiful Sabine, with her blond hair and blue eyes, and they even got to play with her. There are not many Thai children who will have that opportunity!

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