Monday, December 22, 2008

Thailand!!

Sawatdeeka from Thailand! I made it safely on Saturday afternoon, spent the evening shopping and exploring a little in Bangkok and then headed on a long van ride to Sangklaburi in western Thailand. Yesterday we spent most of the day in the van and then settled in to our house boat that we are staying in. It's just a big floating house on a beautiful lake surrounded by trees, mountains, and jungle-esque sights. It's amazing. It's sorta like camping though because we are just sleeping on really small mats on the floor and it's essentially just outside on the lake. It reminds me of my many years spent at summer camp on Lake Shetek. The people on the trip are very awesome, I'm excited to get to know them more as the week goes on.

Today we spent our first day volunteering, and honestly I am wiped tonight. I am exhausted from basically being a human jungle gym. We had environmental day today and everyone joined in to pick up the trash around the town. There was ALOT of trash everywhere; people aren't very educated here about things like that. The children are amazing, very animated and really seem to just want some love - they come up and hold your hand, cuddle up next to your body. They got a kick out of all my piercings, and I think they thought my nose ring was a sticker and kept trying to pick it off. Overall it was a good day. I was a little nervous early on in the day cuz I don't work much with younger kids, but it all ended up well in the end.

This afternoon we got a tour of the children's home (separate from the school). The woman who runs the home explained a lot of things to us, and it's pretty crazy how fortunate we are just listening to some of her stories. The home doesn't have near enough money to meet the needs of the community, and more and more people are spilling over the border from Burma which is right where I am, basically on the border. Some parents just drop their kids off at the home because they don't want them, some are too sick to care for them because of HIV and some just don't have parents.

I am using the internet cafe, so I really can't type much more tonight and I just want to get some sleep, but I thought this would be the best way to let everyone know I was here, safe, and how things were going! I hope all is well at home, wish I could be there for the holidays with you. Love you lots and can't wait til I talk to you again!

Ashley

1 comment:

ipatrloti said...

sounds amazing! when will you be back in japan? I'm going to picky your brain about everything you do in thailand! have fun!
-aaron (maggie's friend)