As the current school term was nearing an end for the Half Day School students, fun activities were arranged around exams to keep spirits high and stress levels low. Half Day School students had a unique visit preceding the first day of exams in early October. Michael (age 50), Ciska (age 50), Jesse (age 15), and Sammy (age 13) Verhage – a Dutch-Australian family – made a visit to DEPDC/GMS to speak to the students about their very interesting and unconventional lifestyle.
The Verhage family have been traveling the world by bicycle for numerous years. Michael and Ciska first discovered their joy of bicycle travel in 1989. Over the years, their family grew and international bicycle travel became a way of life for the Verhage family. To date, they have bicycled over 30,000 kilometers covering such areas of the world as: Australia; Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos); South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Columbia); South Africa; Europe (Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, France); and the United States. Their latest family bicycle tour started in September 2008 and they are currently back in Southeast Asia for more bicycle exploration!
After meeting one of our international volunteers in Chiang Mai last month, the Verhage family decided to cycle to Mae Sai to visit DEPDC/GMS’ headquarters, learn about our projects and meet our students. They gave a presentation about their traveling experiences around the world including numerous photographs and videos and also showed our students and staff their tandem bicycles and camping gear.
As we here at DEPDC/GMS had the unique opportunity and privilege to meet the Verhage family and learn about their incredibly interesting lifestyle, they, in turn, had the opportunity to learn about the work we do here at DEDPC/GMS and the problems we face in this border region. It was a wonderful and educational exchange for everyone involved and we are honored and grateful for the Verhage family’s visit. We wish Michael, Ciska, Jesse and Sammy the very best as they continue on in their adventures! Be safe and enjoy the ride!
For more about the Verhage family’s bicycle adventures, please visit their blog, Crazy Guy on a Bike.