The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Exchange student enjoys the unexpected


March 16, 2017

Diana Zimmerman

Natthanon Sakworawich goes by "Earth," the nickname his mother gave him. He is a sophomore exchange student at Wahkiakum High School from Bangkok, Thailand.

Natthanon Sakworawich is from Bangkok, Thailand. He is 16, a sophomore, and one of three exchange students attending Wahkiakum High School this year.

He goes by "Earth," a nickname his mother gave him when he was young. She was looking for a name that would complement his sister's nickname, "First," for first born.

According to the World Population Review there are 2.28 million people living in Bangkok, so Cathlamet must have been a shock to this young man's system.

It's a little different that what he expected, but he has come to love the landscape, "the river and forests."

So it follows that one of his favorite classes is Environmental Science taught by Jeff Rooklidge.

"We don't have a class like that in Thailand," Earth said, "where we get to go outside every day."

They also don't have shop, a class that Earth won't get to take while he is here. Still he enjoys looking at the work they have done.

Another love is the robotics class taught by Rooklidge, and Earth hopes to study the science when he eventually attends college back home.

Like a lot of exchange students, Earth says that English and U.S. History at WHS are the hardest.

On that point, he may have a lot more in common with his classmates at the high school than he realizes. By all accounts, Mrs. Petterson and Mr. Cox are tough.

It's beautiful here, but according to Earth, it has also been a little too cold. Bangkok averages between 79 and 87 degrees throughout the year.

It's been cold, alright.

Cold enough for Earth's first snow and his first snowman.

Earth is a saxophone player. He was advised not to bring his instrument with him, and he misses it. He admits that while he likes to work out, he's not much for sports. Still, this is an adventure, so he has made the most of it, turning out for football, basketball, and now track, where he plans to run sprints.

"Not long distance," he laughed.

Earth lives with host family John and Nova Lee Knopp of Cathlamet.


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