Back in 2016 alumna Shivanti Kandiah-Evans (St Hilda's, 1994) took a group of Singaporean school students on an IB Geography field trip to northern Chiang Mai - only to find that the outdoor education centre and resort they visited was run by another Oxford geographer: Bryan Massingham (Hertford, 1972).
This May Shivanti returned with another class and sent us this picture of her second mini SoGE alumni reunion with Bryan.
Left - right: Shivanti Kandiah-Evans (St Hilda's, 1994) and Bryan Massingham (Hertford, 1972).
"After a few years teaching geography in the UK, I moved to Hong Kong in 1982 where a two year contract seamlessly extended to twenty. I developed field studies in the karst region of Guilin, China and later in northern Thailand (where I am now) and on discovering there were no field study or outdoor adventure centres catering for schools in this part of the world, made the decision to correct this state of affairs. So in 2000, we took over and refurbished a run-down resort and as demand increased (we now see 2500 students a year), planned and constructed a purpose-built student centre (as well as a Maekok River resort for good measure!)
We soon found that (the mainly ethnic minority) schools in the area were in great need of assistance and thus began our community programme. This involves international schools raising funds and carrying out construction work (as well as teaching English) and to date have completed over 150 projects. Most recently, we have built a Special Needs School (as there is no provision at all in this region) and we now have children being schooled for the first time in their lives."
"It is a beautiful place, and Bryan and Rosie have initiated a number of invaluable projects within their community, supported by the schools and visitors to their centre/resort. In addition to their fieldwork, a small group of students and I were able to visit Thomas House, the first school for children with disabilities set up in the north of Thailand which has changed lives of the families whose children are able to come and be supported."