Khao Sok Guide Training: a Few Days Left !
The hour is nigh. With only a few days left until the guide training course starts, the team is still hard at it, trying to tie up loose ends in putting this ambitious project together. What has emerged this past month is that it’s going to be an even more ambitious project than first envisaged. A lot more ambitious. Due to the significantly different levels of English between the recruits, along with with the geographic locations of them all, and the different guiding needs it has been decided to try and run three different courses at the same time.
Adjusting to the specific guiding needs of each group, and training each of them in a level of English that they all understand is going to be challenging enough. These I have faith that the training team can meet but the real challenge is going to be logistics. Getting the team to each location and coordinating all the different groups into the right location on the right day and time, with access to all the facilities and equipment we are going to need will certainly test our organizational and communication skills.
One of the groups will be based at the park headquarters, as this is where they all live. Their English skills are more advanced than the other groups and so it is hoped they will be able to take on more challenging skills and knowledge. Another group will be made up of walking trails guides and Sok River canoe guides. Their levels of English are about equal and so hopefully none of them should struggle or feel that the rate of learning is too slow for them. They’ll be walking the trails nearest to their park entrance as well as canoeing the stretch of river that they take guests along on canoeing activities. The last group will be based at Cheow Larn Lake. These are the boat drivers that take guests out to the various raft houses for overnight stays. The bulk of their training will be to give them essential guiding skills and English so that they can progress to guides from being purely boat drivers.
The project has received mixed blessings from the local communities. Whilst there are some that question its need or are unsure simply because nothing like this has ever been attempted here, the overwhelming majority are in favour. Very generously the head of the local guides committee has given his blessing and endorsement, along with the indication that in future this kind of training might be able to reward guides with national qualification recognition. In addition it might even be possible to take this training method nation wide.
But that is all for the future. Now it’s time for the talking to stop and the inaugural training courses to begin. Junes’ blog will give you stories of the progress each of the groups are making, along with news of the amazing sights and sounds the groups are experiencing from Khao Sok’s untamed wilderness.