Sawatdee kaa (hello) from Thailand!
After many hours (or even days) of travel, everyone has arrived and is ready to go! Our first day in Chaing Mai was full of food, fun, and making new friends.
On our walking tour in the old city we visited temples and learned about Thai culture from our amazing local staff.
At first of many market visits we learned about what ingredients are used in Thai cuisine and tried our hand at making some typical Thai dishes like green curry, pad Thai, and tom kha.
Today we embraced the Thai saying that, “We only eat one meal a day. It starts when we wake up and ends when we go to bed!”
Cultural Kaleidoscope began with an artistic twist to several thai pottery factories. There, we took a group lesson and were given the opportunity to create our own “masterpieces” of sorts, imitating the other beautiful Thai pottery surrounding us. All the while the amazing Thai staff discretely found amusement in our mishaps.. We extended our day of relaxation to _____ lake where partook in bonding activities and enjoyed another taste of Thai cuisine in the Buegaios. After returning to the base we engaged in more group activities where we got to learn about our peers through our newfound skills– active listening. For the final act of the day we were split up into mentor groups where we were asked to contemplate our reasons for being here, Overall, it seems that Thailand is shaping up to be our greatest adventure yet!
By: Maria, Biancat Ethan
June 25, 2017
We began our day with a Monk chat at Wat Suan Dok. Praha KK taught us about the four noble truths and the noble 8 fold path along with the other fundamentals of Buddhism. Afterwards, the group had a long Q&A with KK and asked many important questions they had about Buddhism, KK, and Thai culture involving Buddhism. We also learned Praha KK’s favorite method of meditation and cleared our minds during a group meditation with Praha KK following with a small your of the temple including MCU Buddhist University. After our special time with Praha KK, we went for the lunch the boat restaurant. Once we were all filled up, we headed over to House of Blessing Children’s Home to begin our FIRST DAY of service!!! Julie and P’Nut gave us a brief history of House of Blessing Children’s Home before we split into two groups. One group sanded down old playground structures in order for the sets to get a shiny new coat of paint! The other group helped start construction on a new laundry facility by digging large 6 foot holes and painting beams (with plenty of girl power involved). Everyone had a great group sweat while working hard for the kids on each of their projects. Finally after working super hard in the heat and sweat, the kids arrived back at the home after their long day of hard work at school. As they drove in on the buses, every kid had the biggest smile, waved, and ‘waied’ to all the GLA students as we returned the gesture. The kids all exited their buses and immediately ran to greet us. All of us GLAers we’re just as excited to meet and play with the kids as they were to meet and play with us! The playing commenced and games of ping pong, soccer/football, tag, and duck duck goose all broke out. There was laughing; so much laughing. Each child was grabbing for one of our hands and a couple GLAers developed some pretty cool fan groups. Every single human there had the largest smile plastered to their faces throughout the entire time we had together. To wrap up our day, we split up into mentor groups and discussed how rewarding all of this service would be after working there for four days.
By Meg Fordyce
June 30, 2017
July 1, 2017
This morning we were all very happy to have a late breakfast, which started at nine instead of seven. After breakfast, we started some lesson plans so we could present our plan to our mentors, ensuring our plans were okay. Then we went to the Chiang Mai Night Safari with the kids from House of Blessings, and no it was not at night, it was a walk around zoo. Afterwards we went to the mall to get some KFC, which is a treat here in Thailand. The children were all very excited to enjoy some tasty food. Some people who like veggies went to go find subway but we found out that it actually moved, so we ventured around the mall to find some good thai food. In this insane mall that people were mistaking for an office or hospital, there was a bowling alley so we took the kids bowling and it turns out none of them had bowled before. It was pretty chaotic as the kids crowded together to get their turn, but eventually we had a system established and all was well. We then slowly made our way out the mall trying not to say our goodbyes yet. Too soon, it was time to leave and some tears were shed as we said goodbye to the children we’d spent the past week with. back at homebase, we watched a documentary called the Last Elephants in Thailand showing the treatment of elephants in tourism in Thailand. We found out that a lot of cool things happen and that there are people working to save the elephants and protect them. This one lady Syriah had opened the first elephant hospital and has an elephant with the prosthetic leg after it was blown off after stepping on a landmine. We discussed how we felt about the video and then talked about what we’re going to do at the elephant place tomorrow. We ended the night was some more teaching prep and are all excited to meet the new children.
July 2, 2017
July 3, 2017
July 8, 2017
Today we went on a bike and kayak adventure!
– 17 kilometer bike ride where we saw friendly locals, rice farms, and mountains!
– 8 kilometer kayak adventure!
– Bouncy slide in lake and jumping platform!
– “Shout out circle”where we shared things that we love about each other!