Week one has come and gone. I can barely believe it, both because I feel like I have been here forever, and because we have done so much. Our schedule went a bit like this:
Clock Tower in Chiang Rai
Saturday-Went ot the store to buy essentials (like pillows), rode elephants, got traditional Thai massages, and ate a lot of GOOD Thai food. Highlight-the elephant ride of course!
Sunday-Went to the local Chaing Rai Mormon branch. Planning meeting afterwards about the English camp we were participating in. Highlight-feeling so welcomed at church with all the hugs, smiles, and handshakes.
The group in a Song Taew
Monday-Went to the Chaing Rai hospital and had meetings, etc about potential projects there. Highlight-we got to visit the forensics unit where they keep dead bodies. I saw a Japanese mafia guy you had got shot in the head. Fun.
Tuesday-Went to Mae Sai on the Northern border to DEPDC (where I want to work) and spent the day learning about the organization and meeting some of the people who work there. Highlight-Learning about about thinking of potential projects that can be accomplished at DEPDC.
Me in front of our house.
Wednesday and Thursday- We were busy all day volunteering at an English camp. The English camp was a a local elementary school and was meant to get all the kids interested in learning English. We were supposed to show the fun side to English, and were all assigned stations we were in charge of. Jamie and I were in charge of Phonetics, and so spent the day teaching sounds, practicing pronauciation, and playing games. We were all so sweaty and tired by the end of it all, and I realized how truly hard (but rewarding) it is to be a teacher. Highlight-getting hugs and high fives from the kids, going to Kareoke with the school administators (crazy times...), and getting pizza and Pepsi Thursday night to celebrate our victory!
My roommates, Jamie and Courtney
Friday and today- We have 5 days off (I know you are all jealous) for Buddha's birthday on Tuesday. Yesterday we went to a waterfall which was SO COOL and swam in the water. We even got to go under the waterfall. Very intense. We also got to go to a kind of international store/center (much like I have seen in Singapore) and I bought loads of bread (I miss bread!) and European and Japanese chocolate. They had a McDonalds there but I resisted. I did buy a donut though. Yum.
Today we are leaving for Chaing Mai, which is about 2 1/2 hours south of us. We will be there for the reminder of the holiday. Things to look forward to: meditating with monks, and ziplining through the jungle.
On a more negative note, about 75% of my pictures are turning out blurry. I think my camera has had it! Luckily, everyone else is taking loads of pictures, and I will have to steal from them for now.