After 2 long days of travel, I have arrived safetly, albeit tiredly, in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Things have been crazy and exciting ever since arriving here. I landed in Bangkok on Friday morning, and spent the afternoon exploring the city with a few of the other volunteers that were at the airport at the same time. I say explore, although what we really did is watch and "explore" the city from a 4th story Starbucks, since we were too tired to actually walk around the city.
From there we took a commuter flight north, arriving in Chiang Rai late that night. And now for a bit about our house. Our house is really more like 4 separate, 1 room apartments, each with its own bathroom and bedroom space. To my surprise, our bedroom did not contain the bunkbeds I had been told we would be sleeping in, but instead has 2 mats, which can only be described as hard, ugly, and old. I live with 2 other girls, and the space is more than adequete to fit us in. The bathroom is a shower/toliet combo room, with a tiled floor that remians perpetually wet.
I feel we have been here for 2 weeks, rather than the paltry 2 full days we have been in Chiang Rai. Yesterday, our first real day, we spent all day out, seeing the sites, eating good food, and yes, riding elephants. Today we spent mostly going to church, in a small branch where us 12 volunteers filled the 3 rows of chairs, and almost doubled the branch size. I wish I had time to say more. Thailand is just as amazing as all the times I have previously been, but in a completely new way. I am experiencing the real Thailand, separated from foreigners, tourists, resorts, and air-conditioned retaurants. The real Thailand is hot and sweaty, and it is rare to find the passerby who understands English. But I love it.