Thailand: The Land of (Confused) Smiles

Alternate title: No Dessert Left Behind

2nd Alternate Title: How Long is Too Long to Sit in a Cafe to use the Wifi?

Two months down in Thailand, one to go. I know I say it pretty much everytme I travel, but I honestly do not know where the time has gone. It’s gone by in a blink, the last 8 weeks feel like a few days at the same time as a lifetime. I am so incredibly grateful for every single adventure I’ve been on so far. Every person I’ve met has taught me an important lesson, and every place I’ve been has been incredibly rich in beautiful people, views, and food.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a normal life.

I think it would be quite boring.

Plenty of strange things have happened to me in the past two months, things that I honestly think can only be described as a travelers life. Let’s start with Halloween.

Last Halloween, 2014, I was in a Tanzanian hospital with a bunch of scared girls being checked for worms. This year I found myself sharing a hostel room with two of my Ecuadorian best friends and some students from a Thai university, getting our Halloween makeup done by them. Life is weird and amazing.

Halloween with Ecuadorians and Thai university students.
Halloween with Ecuadorians and Thai university students.

The next week on homestay found myself and 6 other volunteers chatting with our Thai contact there, as he looks at us, smiles, and says “yep!”, and proceeds to show us to the area where we’ll be having lunch with some very high up Thai government officials. The Land of Confused Smiles. The next hour found us singing Yesterday, by the Beetles, and Country Roads, by John Denver, with a band, to the same government officials. I’ve learned to just take these things in stride. Life is weird. We ate some interesting food that day, including soup with some ants who’d sadly commited suicide, and a lot of meat we couldn’t identify. Example A of: No Dessert Left Behind.

Singing Country Roads and Yesterday to Thai government officials.
Singing Country Roads and Yesterday to Thai government officials.

We’ve been back on our normal teaching schedule for a week now. We are busy and loving life as we teach classes, confiscate things like carved chopsticks and transformers, get treated like kings and queens with coffee and cookies before class, and loose our voices from having to yell over the general drone of classrooms.

Last weekend a group of us ventured to an incredible mountain called Phu Chi Fa. We woke up at 4:30 am to drive an hour and walk up for the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. Thailand is consistantly a new surprise and a beautiful new sight to see. Whether it’s the beautiful old woman who’s every wrinkle tells a story giggling as you respect her culture by bowing to her, and bargining in Thai at the market, or playing with the two year old on your foundation’s property and getting your daily dose of baby laughter in. Life is good.

Today so far has been spent sitting in a cafe not doing much of anything (example of alternate title 2: How Long is Too Long to Sit in a Cafe to Use Their Wifi?), and totally embracing the laziness of it. Sending so much love back home and around the world right now, as we all really need it.

Life is good in Thailand.

Our amazing 4th grade class on homestay
Our amazing 4th grade class on homestay

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Mr. February
Mr. February
Tea farmers
Tea farmers

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A Phu Chi Fa sunrise
A Phu Chi Fa sunrise

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My homegirl. Literally! We live an hour apart!
My homegirl. Literally! We live an hour apart!

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Temple Visiting
Temple Visiting

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Kings and queens at childcare this week
Kings and queens at childcare this week

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Found one of my favorite babies from a children's home at the school I was teaching at!
Found one of my favorite babies from a children’s home at the school I was teaching at!

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Baby giggles are the best
Baby giggles are the best
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