Time Capsule Letter
We hope you enjoyed the rest of your summer! It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since we wished you farewell from the land of smiles. You are likely back in school now (or college!) and your mind is focused on many other things, but we wanted you to know we are still thinking of you and the time we spent together in Thailand.
Although it was a short time that we spent with the children at the schools, our time surely made an impact. It means a lot to the schools and the kids that we came to help them improve their English, and we know they affected you all deeply as well.
Thank you all for making those two weeks a time to remember! From singing and dancing to music to thought provoking discussions during evening activities, we really enjoyed our time with you all. We can’t forget the beautiful temples, delicious food, little Charlie (cutest elephant alive!), and the adorable school children. We were certainly happy in Thailand.
We hope you all remember the lessons learned during your stay with us in Chiang Mai – from overcoming fears during rafting and ziplining, learning how to work with others different than us, becoming aware of areas for self-growth, principles gained from the monk chat, learning how to live in the present, and so much more.
Don’t forget about your OMG (One Meaningful Goal) while you are home! Remember to make steps each day to achieve your goal, and don’t forget to share with us when you accomplish it! We want to hear about it and how you’re BEING the change at home!
Thank you again for all the memories, and we wish you the best!
Lara, Ariel and Serena
Monday June 17, 2019
Everyone has arrived in Chiang Mai, a little jet lagged, but enthusiastic! After some rest at our home base Tianna, we will be ready for the all the Thailand adventures yet to come!
Tuesday June 18, 2019
After resting up, we woke up bright and early at beautiful Tianna. We started the day learning about the history of Thailand, Thai culture, and practicing the Thai language. We then headed to the heart of Chiang Mai for lunch and a visit to Chiang Man temple and Chedi Luang temple. After our tour, we went to the market to learn about the ingredients we’d later use at cooking class to prepare ourselves some traditional local cuisine for dinner. Yum!
Wednesday June 19, 2019
We woke up and we drove to Borsang (umbrella making center) to create our own hand crafted umbrellas. We had a lot of fun being able to paint small umbrellas with designs of our choosing. After, we went to a beautiful restaurant with an amazing view that served authentic Thai food.
Then we all headed to the market to try new foods that we have not seen before, as well as looking at the many items that were for sale. There were many floors and even turtles at the market. After we came back to home base, we had some down time before a delicious dinner. Lastly, we had our first leadership activity that helps us grow as people. What a day!
Written by the Leaders of the Day: Kelly L. and Abby D.
Thursday June 20, 2019
The day started with a dance number, warming everyone up and getting them ready for the most active day so far. A trainer came by and shared his teaching knowledge with us to help prepare us for teaching next week! We learned plenty of games and activities to keep the children engaged and excited to learn. After the great info session we hopped into the buses and made our way to the schools we would be teaching in. We didn’t have much time to look around, but the children were definitely excited to see us! It was very cool to see their learning environment.
The visit was short because we didn’t want to be late to our Muay Thai class. After arriving at the gym we geared up with hand wraps and trained our Muay Thai skills. After some light exercise and shadow practice, we sparred with the instructors and punching bags to our hearts content. Then we practiced some defensive moves on each other. The experience was very enjoyable and very memorable, as well as necessary to burn off all the delicious food that the Tianna resort staff prepared for us. As a cool down snack we all went to a market and bought boba tea, a first for some and an all around amazing time. Our day ended with the group having a meaningful discussion about perspective of foreign experiences, the day was an amazing follow-up to yesterday on this great foreign experience of our own!
Written by the Leaders of the Day: Grace R. and Zach D.
Friday July 21, 2019
The day started with an early morning breakfast (7am to be exact!). We had our morning chow circle and were assigned groups to sit with during breakfast via colored popsicle sticks and given a question to talk about. Breakfast was delicious as per usual, and the weather was its habitual humid and hot self. Directly after breakfast, we boarded the vans and began our ride to white water rafting up in the mountains.
The ride there was beautiful, lush green landscapes that stretched as far as the eye could see dotted with the occasional rice field and coffee tree. When we finally arrived, we were greeted with open arms by the kind staff, willing and ready to guide us down the river. We were given safety instructions and commands before we set off.
The trip we were taking down the river was 10km (about 6 miles), and consisted of 3 parts: the first, a very smooth and gentle stream, the second a more tumultuous and aggressive section consisting of rapids and rocks, and the third and final, which was just like the beginning. At one point, we were able to see some elephants being bathed and resting in the cool river water.
They were massive and majestic creatures that stunned us all. In total, we spent about 2 ½ hours on the river, gliding through the rapids and swimming in the refreshing water. After a long journey, we had a delicious lunch. We were all super tired and ready to head back to Tianna by the end of it all. And after thanking the staff, that’s precisely what we did. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience that really forced us to utilize quick thinking and decision making skills!
Written by the Leaders of the Day: Londyn H. and Abby H.
Saturday June 22, 2019
We began our day with an early breakfast coupled with our daily chow circle (which consisted of a game of telephone). We then boarded the vans for a short hop to the Tai Lue Village center, where we spent the better part of the day immersing ourselves in the indigenous culture. We took part in activities such as bag painting, rice cracker making, wooden doll painting, traditional cotton production, and tours of the traditional style housing that they lived in.
Lunch was a magnificent market-style buffet, comprising multiple Thai delicacies, such as Papaya Salad (Som Tam), Pad Thai, and Grilled Sticky-Rice Skewers. We were also serenaded by traditional Thai instruments, singing, and had the opportunity to watch a traditional Thai dance.
Shortly after, we headed back to home base for a relaxing two hours of poolside chilling and air-conditioned naps. At 4:30 we embarked on a journey to a large street market called Walking Street, where we indulged in street snacks, and bought many souvenirs for all of y’all folks back home! As the sun began to set on Chiang Mai, we made our way back to home base in preparation for an early start yet again tomorrow. We look forward to an action filled day tomorrow as well!
Written by the leaders of the day: Aaditya B. and Victoria F.
Sunday June 23, 2019
We started the day bright and early to prepare for a fun day with the elephants. After a delicious breakfast we headed to the elephant sanctuary, first making a necessary pitstop at the beloved 7/11. Here we stocked up on craved snacks and Thai tea that the group yearned for. We started off by feeding bananas to the hungry elephants and enjoying the beautiful views. After feeding the elephants we enjoyed a delicious lunch made for us by the staff of the elephant sanctuary.
The leaders at the sanctuary then taught us how to make food for the elephants using multiple different ingredients to help a variety of health issues. We then scrubbed the elephants with mud to act as a natural sunscreen for the elephants, helping to keep them cool and rejuvenated. Shortly after, we took them to the water where we rinsed them of mud and played with them. Since we were so dirty, we showered and changed to prepare for the long car ride back to Tianna. After free time back at the resort we created our lesson plans and prepared for our first day of teaching at the schools. Following dinner we concluded the night with our mentor groups where we reflected on the day and prepped for the week ahead.
Written by leaders of the day: Amera F. and Avery T.
Monday June 24, 2019
We got an early start this morning and headed off to our first day of teaching! We first had an assembly where we introduced ourselves to the students. We then taught three classes ranging in ages from first grade to sixth grade. It was so much fun! After lunch we headed to Wat Suan Dok where we spoke with a monk. We learned about Buddhism and the everyday life of a monk. It was super interesting and a great learning experience. After, we headed back to homebase where we planned out our next two days of teaching and ate dinner. Lastly, we planned our cultural immersion performance and then headed to bed.
Written by Leaders of the Day: Sydney A. and Adelaide B.
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Once again, it was an early morning start! We began our day with our second day of teaching. Time flew by at the school because teaching the children is so much fun! After our delicious lunch, we went to Doi Pui, a Hmong village. There, we took beautiful walk through a market area and garden to a cafe. At the cafe, we drank coffee while admiring the gorgeous view from the top of the mountain.
After this, we made our way even higher in the mountain to Doi Suthep, a beautiful temple atop over 300 steps (a long, steep climb)! Our breaths were taken away by the amazing gold details and astounding architecture. The view was absolutely spectacular as well! After touring the temple, we went back down the mountain to head to dinner. We were then “surprised” with a delicious western style meal for dinner! After that, we got to explore around the night bazaar and pick up some final souvenirs and clothing items. Overall, it was a very exciting and jam packed day!
Written by Leaders of the Day: Alex B. and Chloe T.
Wednesday June 26, 2019
We started our morning with the chow circle, including a one minute “dance it out” session. After breakfast we left for our schools, where we were greeted by the kids. We taught all morning and then ate lunch and had recess with the children!
Following teaching, we went to a Chiang Mai high school where we were welcomed by the high school Thai students. They performed cultural dances and music for us, and in exchange we performed “Imagine” by John Lennon. We were given a tour of their 8-story school, and learned how to make coconut pancakes and banana leaf bowls. We ended the cultural exchange with an exciting game of volleyball, which we unfortunately lost… but had a lot of fun!
After our incredible cultural exchange, we spent the rest of the day getting Thai massages. It was a very relaxing, refreshing and well needed break after a long week and a half! The rest of the night, we came back to Tianna and had another incredible dinner, followed by leadership activities and lesson planning.
Written by the Leaders of the Day: Jaylyn R. & Marisol C.
Friday June 28, 2019
Today was our last day of official class with the kids. Having to say goodbye was rather bittersweet, but we were glad to have made an impact on their English language learning. In the afternoon, we headed to the 3D Museum, where students were able to express their creativity through their interaction with the artwork. For the rest of the day, we worked hard to prepare for a day of English Camp. We are ready to face another day of excitement and fun!
Written by the Leaders of the Day: Serena L. and Lydia M.
Our last day was fun packed with an exciting zip line adventure through the jungle, followed by a farewell dinner at a beautiful riverside restaurant, and a karaoke party back at our home for the last two weeks, Tianna. Now our bags are packed as we prepare for the journey back home.
As we part ways we reflect on all the friendships formed, lessons learned, experience gained, and memories made.
Wishing you all pleasant trips back to your home countries, from the GLA, Thailand: In & Beyond the Classroom team 🙂
REMINDER – Whitewater Rafting Photos
Click here to visit the whitewater rafting photo folder for this session. This link is expires tomorrow, however, if you click the blue “download” button on the folder, you can download the entire folder in a zip file.
The button to download option will appear like this once you arrive at the photo folder: