Coast students experience life in different part of globe
A GROUP of Fraser Coast young adults had their eyes opened to a whole new way of life after helping a struggling community in a Third World country.
Seventeen senior-year students from Fraser Coast Anglican College spent most of December travelling through Laos and Thailand.
They went over as part of World Challenge Project, which required a working phase.
For this, the Hervey Bay group spent time re-painting a school in a village called Pakbeng, in northern Laos.
Georgia Harper said working alongside the locals from a different background was a unique experience.
"We couldn't actually talk to them and had to make a connection in another way," she said.
"Our job was to fix the exterior of the school by cleaning and re-painting it. It was very physical work."
In their non-working time, the students played with the village kids and taught them English.
Caydon Sanders said that what struck him most was how little the kids there had.
"There was a kid running around with a stick with a can on the end, but he was so happy," Caydon said.
"They all were so happy despite how little they had.
"We gave them toys and pencils and books, and to them that was a big deal."
After this section of their trip, the Hervey Bay students explored and relaxed. They even went to a film festival in Laos, despite not understanding it.
The students even stopped at a town that they described as one of the strangest places ever.
"When we were going to Thailand on a boat, in this transit town, it was just people trying to sell accommodation, and a kid with a hammer tried to steal from us," Caydon said.
But most importantly, the travellers had to grow up on the trip.
"It's so weird being back and not being fully responsible for yourself," Georgia said.