Hard to believe I've only been here three months! I feel like too much has happened for it to be such a short time! I've already gone to two other countries besides Thailand!! I just can't believe how amazing it is here and I am so thankful that I get to be an exchange student and go on all these adventures!
So last weekend I went with a large group of strangers (and my host uncle) on a trip to Myanmar! It was not what I was expecting at all! We spent three days at a temple and when we weren't at that temple we were visiting a different temple. It was a very interesting adventure. While I learned a lot about Buddhism, how it works and what they do, its not something I'd volunteer for again. We spent three days doing prayers while sitting in uncomfortable positions and giving offerings such as money and food to the monks. They told me that we were doing a ritual for the monks who have apparently been in the temple for three months praying during the monsoon season.
Since it was my birthday, they decided I should be the one to give the monks the big gift of 1 million baht! Its a huge honor and is supposed to bring me good luck in my next life. It was also cool when a temple full of people sang me happy birthday and I turned red as a tomato! They thought I very amusing.
As far as my 17th birthday, it was very sweet. Since I was in Myanmar on my actual birthday, my host family took me out to diner the night before I left and surprised me with an ice cream cake when we got home! It was so nice! Then on Monday, my friends gave me a chocolate cake and sang me happy birthday! Of course being the foreigner who everybody knows, everyone who saw me told me happy birthday! People here are just so sweet and it made me feel so loved! Finally to top it all off, I received a birthday package from home filled with my favorite candies! I was super happy and my friends loved the sour patch kids I brought to school! They all thought the candy was covered in sugar and had a fun surprise when it turned out to be sour! Haha!
In general, I am having a great time! I am spending time with my thai besties and with the other exchange students. It's always great when we're together because we can really understand each other! My thai is getting better everyday! I even surprised my friends the other day when I said a full sentence in thai correctly! I can't wait to see what I get to do next!