Monday, April 20, 2015

Song Kran Festival :D

That's right! I just got back from another awesome trip! This time we spent nine days touring the north of Thailand! There were 55 people traveling on 1 bus from Bangkok all the way to Chiang Mai (which is like 445 miles)! There were stops along the way at a ceramic factory where I got to paint a mug and the opium museum which tells about the history of opium in Asia and does not give out samples, much to some of the guys disappointment! We also stopped at the three way river that connects Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand and saw the foreign gardens. This garden has flowers from other countries (mostly America and Western Europe) which amazed the thai students but were fairly normal for all the inbound students.
We also visited temples a lot! We went to one almost every day! My favorite was the White Temple which is supposedly the path to heaven. Unfortunately it was raining so we couldn't go in but the outside was absolutely gorgeous!
Ready for Song Kran!
Finally day 5 we reached Chiang Mai and had a blast in Song Kran Festival! This festival is to celebrate thai new years! And I must say, they know how to celebrate new years in Thailand! For three days we got to soak people and get soaked! We even got to hang out with exchange students from the north and east Rotary districts!
My favorite thing this trip was going to see a thai dance show with traditional dances from different parts of Thailand! The show was great but what made this part the best was the food!! Best food we ate on the whole trip! And believe me that is saying something! There was so much amazing food in the north! I gained 1.5 kilograms in just 10 days! I really need to exercise more!
Me and my buddies!
What made this trip even better was having the outbound students with us! We really got to know the student who will be coming to our countries in just a few months! During the trip everyone was paired with a buddy! The Thai people had a foreign buddy and us foreigners had a thai buddy! We gave each other gifts and got to know each other through out the trip!
There was also a girl who will be in my rotary district! I hope she is near Olympia!
Up next is the district conference where all the YEs have to perform our thai dance. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2015

No breaks

This month I get no breaks! It's only the 7th and I'm exhausted! After getting home from the rotary trip on the first, my host mom told me I would be switching host families at 6pm. So I am now back to my first host. As far as I know I will be here the rest of the year but in Thailand you never know for sure.
After packing and moving all my stuff I did get one day to just relax and for the most part sleep. On Friday I got have a new experience. I went to the crocodile farm at 7am to help clean and store the crocodile eggs. It was cool try but I really don't want to know what the goo covering my hands was!
Saturday was back to go go go! I went to Bangkok early in the morning for thai dance class. We (all the YE for this year and next year) practiced our dance routine for six hours! Most of us were ready to be done at three hours! After class most of us went to check out a huge book fair and I found 3 new books! YAY!
Since we all had to stay in Bangkok that night for class the next morning, most of us decided to stay at Hector's house (the YE from Mexico). There were 16 exchange student in one house! So much fun! We ate a ton of pizza and chip, the guys taught me how to use a video game remote and kicked my butt at the game we were playing, and just hung out together!
Sunday was another six hours of dancing! I was ready to drop by the end! After that I went shoe shopping with a couple other girls and found some really cute sandals on sale! That night we all crashed as soon as we got back to Hector's!
Finally on Monday I made the journey back home! Amazing to think that I can take a taxi to the bus station then a two hour bus ride for less than $6. I love how cheap stuff is in Thailand!
Now I get to spend two days at home before I go on the next adventure up north for Songkran Festival in Chang Mai!

Friday, April 3, 2015

To the South!

I have spent this last week on a super fun trip to the South (again)! But this one was way better because we had all 21 exchange students together! We had so much fun just because we were all together and the activities helped too!
Over the course of the week we visited 8 islands, stayed at 4 hotels, went snorkeling 3 times, ate some great food, did a lot of shopping, and got very little sleep! And this is just scratching the surface!
The first day we visited 5 islands! We also went snorkeling twice! It was so much fun! And everyone had a sunburn because no one thought to put on sunscreen! Yes, we are all geniuses (sarcasm). Most of our trip was spent swimming in different locations. Our second day we went to swim at the emerald pool and a natural hot spring! Chloe (YE from France) and I went on a short but beautiful hike to get back from the emerald pool.
We spent day three at a Muslim village on an island about an hour from the mainland. We visited the school and played games with the kids! People who live on this island almost never leave! I can't imagine living on an island my whole life!

The last two days we spent in Phuket! We had so much fun there! There was the beach, shopping, and we went to Phe Phe Island for a day! We also went to see a very interesting dance show! It was interesting because part way through the story, in the middle of the dramatic scene set in the ancient forest of Thailand, they did a magic show. Not that the magic show wasn't cool and amazing, but the timing left us all asking what the hack was that?
During the week we didn't get a lot of sleep. Every night we would stay up talking, playing games, and hanging out! It was fun but left us all rather dead each morning when we got our 6am wake up calls!
Most the time, when we weren't eating at the hotel, we ate a buffets. Cause where else are you going to feed 21 hungry teens! :D The food on this trip was great though! I think I gained my exchange weight from this trip alone!
And we only had two people drop their phones in water! Lucky I wasn't one of them!
So much fun and much more to come! With everything that's going on right now I'm sure you'll hear from me again soon! Love you all!