This is not just a sports day. This is not even just a sports week. It is the Dokbua games 2014 and I’ve never experienced anything like it!
Alongside the usual athletics and football it also featured tug-of-war, chess (don’t get me started!), table tennis and the Thai games, dacour and wing dial There are eight teams and they each have a colour so all week the school has been a sea of red, blue, pink, green, orange, yellow and maroon. Matt was on the orange team and I was maroon which was annoying because it’s the only colour that doesn’t appear in my wardrobe!
Almost all of the weeks lessons were cancelled and we spent our afternoons out in the sun cheering the kids. They all did brilliantly although my kindergarteners struggled with concepts such as which direction to run in and how to win the game!
The main event however was on Friday. The day started at 7am with a parade from the city hall to the school. We arrived at school at 5.15am to a hive of activity. Children barely recognisable through several layers of makeup were hidden underneath clouds of tutus! The parade was huge and you could see how much effort had gone into it, it was probably more fun to watch than to take part in - some of the poor girls ere tottering along in their mums’ heels.
Once the parade had snaked it’s way to school, the games were officially opened with the singing of the anthem, raising of flags and of course the lighting of the torch! By this time it was barely 10am but everyone was exhausted! After a quick coffee run we settled in the heat to watch all the finals - luckily there was a steady supply of ice cold water and ice cream to keep spirits high :)
We had a fantastic day cheering on the kids and even took part in the parents and teachers tug of war (won one and lost one so not bad!). The whole week provided a great way for us to get to know the kids a bit better, the slightly relaxed atmosphere encouraged them to speak more English to us. By 5.15pm we had been at school for 12 hours and felt exhausted, I really don’t know how the children kept going (although I think the fizzy drinks helped!). As the day closed with a round of Auld Lang Syn, a few first drops of rain reminded us of the season, we said goodbye to a spectacular event and went home to sleep for a long time!