Monday, June 17, 2013

Life in Thailand!

I told many of you that I had a blog I was writing while I was in Thailand and obviously haven't done anything with it! But I finally have some time to sit down and tell you all about this adventure around the world.
I officially got to Thailand Saturday morning around 9:30 after HOURS and HOURS of flying! I left Salt Lake City Thursday morning at 11:15 with two other girls that are here as well. I was so grateful that I had traveling companions! When I first signed up to go to Thailand I thought I was seriously considering flying over here by myself, I am SO grateful I didn't make that decision! There is no way I could have traveled this far by myself!
From Salt Lake we flew to Seattle and had a short little layover in preparation for our exit out of the country and onto inexperienced land and experiences! One great thing about flying overseas is that you take a huge plane and they treat you to lots of fun entertainment and food! I had visions of sleeping for most of the plane ride but found that impossible once I discovered a HUGE selection of movies and music and TV shows offered for free! (with complementary headphones) I felt like it was also hard to sleep because it never got dark outside. We were going back in time essentially experienced one whole day of light. Since we were in the air for so long we were fed several times! I swear every hour they were coming by with another little treat or meal! And since we were headed to Tokyo we started to experience some of the Asian culture in our meals and snacks! I was stuffed by the time I got off the plane and didn't really have an appetite until today!

!!!N I N E!!!!
hours later we landed in Tokyo Japan!! It was so fun to realize I was officially out of the country and getting closer to our destination! (There may be people reading this blog that have experienced much longer flights, but for me it was a big deal :) We had a short layover in Tokyo and then headed out to Bangkok, Thailand! I was thinking that was going to be a short flight, maybe 4 hours or so, so I was really depressed when I realized that it was over 6 hours long. I was doing well with the whole experience until this point. On the back of each seat they had a picture of our flight progress and how many miles we had traveled. I started to feel anxious when I saw the miles hit over 3,000 miles. On our previous flight from Seattle to Tokyo we flew close to 6,000 miles. So the realty of the whole situation hit me. I really was thousands of miles away and still had several hundred more miles until I was finally where I would be living for two months. It didn't help that we had a 9 hours layover in Bangkok so I had tons of time to sit and think about everything and make myself really crazy inside. We spent the night in the airport not able to find a place to connect to the internet or sleep. By this point I think I had only slept for 4 hours and had been in flight for SEVERAL!!
From Bangkok we flew to Chiang Rai, Thailand and met up with our country directors who came to pick us up. We took a Thai bus and 5 girls with TONS of luggage to our little guest house we would call home for a couple of nights. I have to be completely honest here that at first I was freaking out! I went to bed the first night I was here crying and scared and overwhelmed with what was going on. Thanks to my wonderful family and technology I was able to connect to find some words of comfort from them thousands of miles away :)
We spent a couple of days in Chiang Rai exploring the area, and trying food, then headed out on a PACKED bus with 10 people (three more were added to our group over those two days) for a three hours bus ride up mountain to our little village Thaton. (Side note: before we left Chiang Rai we were able to attend church with the local branch and that was AMAZING!) I think it was so amazing for me because it brought so much comfort to me that no matter where I go in the world I have that constant in my life. I felt so grateful for those few hours and found so much peace from them! One of our country directors translated the services into English over our smart phones on an app called google hangout. I am developing a DEEP love for technology since I have been gone!
It was amazing to see the landscape of Thailand as we drove a few hours to our village Thaton. It was breathtaking and quite different from anywhere I have ever been! The life style is VERY laid back here and that shows in so many aspects of their little villages. It is not a stressful life that people lead here. It is very slow paced. We got several looks from people as we passed with our luggage strapped to the top of this bus and 10 people inside!
Since we have been here we have explored the city and spent all day today teaching English to a couple of different schools here in the area. That was a great experience for me today!
I had a tender little mercy experience this morning when I woke up. Last night I was feeling stressed and anxious still inside about a lot of things this this new situation. I prayed that the feelings that I was having would be taken away so that I could be happy and accomplish the things I am here to do. I could tell my prayer was answered when I woke up this morning with so much peace! I was so grateful!! Prayers are heard and answered :)

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