Let’s grab our daily Thai teas (or 5!) and talk about what a unique group we had during the 21 day Cultural Kaleidoscope program! Airport pick ups were off to a shaky start, we thought you guys were scared of us! Maybe Melissa repeatedly asking her van “Are you guys so excited!!” after 24+ hours of traveling wasn’t what you guys wanted to hear at the time! Once your sleepy eyes disappeared and everyone started looking like 3 course meals again personalities began to shine!
The kind nurture, love and support the Thai children and teenagers received from you guys was enough to last a lifetime. You left quite an impact on them and it was very evident when each good bye led to a group cry. Bonding with the children allowed for you to bond as a group as well. The positive dynamic and support for one another really showed when you toughed it out through service.
Heat exhaustion had some of you a little loopy but nothing PB and J’s and group laughs couldn’t cure! group sweats were a direct result of your hard work – A+ on the effort at the children’s home. Watching you all make progress and improvements in the classroom and seeing the smiles on the faces of the children made the staff very proud of each of you! Long live Charles! I wonder what little Charles is up to these days?
Personally, the staff is proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zones and overcoming your fears! True character was shown when you strapped into a zipline several meters above the ground or supported a friend who was a little overwhelmed. The same applies to riding the elephants, to those who conquered their fears in the words of Julie, “You did it!!!” We had experienced so much together at this point from group cries and group sweats that it was only necessary a group sunburn then group aloe session gets thrown in there! Definitely can’t forget the bonding moment of the face mask and snack party that really connected everyone. These times make the best memories!
Watching the friendships form and going from individuals to one family-like unit was amazing to witness. The matching elephant pants, wearing the hotels slippers everywhere and referring to Chris as dad were some of the more comical highlights. The dance parties (sometimes featuring strob lights from fidget spinners!) and Disney channel soundtrack sing a longs in the vans are memories that I hope last with you all as long as Nick’s gum lasted him!
We hope you take the learned lessons and apply them to your daily lives. Remember that being the first follower is important and when you see Mary cannonball into a lake then you definitely should too! Chase whatever dreams you have and know you have the staff cheering you on always. As Julie said “whether you want to have a snake farm or be a shepherd I’m here for you.” Keep spreading your light in this world, you’re all wonderful souls and we are excited to hear about your continued adventures!
-Your GLA Staff