Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I don't know why it has been so hard for me the past couple of weeks to keep this updated! It is a good thing that we are really busy though! I came here to serve the people here and to stay busy and that has been the case!
Along with being busy with projects we have had some time to explore the area around us! Here are some pictures of what we have been up to the past week!!

This is going on a really random order, but I feel like the days last week are all running together!

We had a really long and busty week Monday through Thursday. We had late nights and early mornings. Hot days, and days with lots of rain. Lots of physical labor, and days we spent prepping for the week. It was a mix of everything! As a result by Thursday night we were all exhausted!!! So our country directors decided to take a long weekend so refresh for the week a head!
On Friday I checked an item off of my bucket list! (actually it wasn't really on my bucket list, but I decided it should go on there and then crossed off just because I did it!)
We were in three places at once! Actually it wasn't just three places, it was three COUNTRIES at once! See that needs to go on the bucket list doesn't it!?
We took a Song Towe (I really have no idea how to spell this form of transportation- but it is like a truck that is covered in the back with benches for seats that we all pile into.) I can't say it is my most favorite way to travel, but while in Thailand ride in a Song Towe!
The ride was about two hours to our destination... The Golden Triangle! The Golden Triangle touches Thailand, Burma and Laos! It was so crazy being there! For years I have heard about these countries and I was just in awe that I was actually IN these countries! If you would have asked me in January where I thought I would be this year I NEVER would have dreamed that it would be here in Thailand having these experiences! How grateful I am having these experiences though!!
Here are some pictures from the day!

Lots of items there were representing the Golden Triangle!

This picture cracks me up for some reason!! The day before we stopped at a store and I bought a ran jacket (or at least I thought it was a rain jacket) since the rainy season started her last week. The rain here reminds me a lot of the rain in Florida. When it pours it POURS! The gutters fill up in just a few minuets! A few nights ago it started raining when we were all going to bed. The rain was SOOOO loud on our roof so I put in head phones to block out the noise. A few minuets later a HUGE clap of thunder erupted! It was seriously the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life! It was kind of scary!
I am enjoying the rainy season though because it has made for cooler temperatures, and that makes me very happy!
I guess there was a point to that little tangent that I just shared... I bough this pink "rain dress" that I have come to affectionately call it now :) I didn't realize just how cool it was until I pulled it out of the package when we got to the Golden Triangle! It was a comic relief for everyone that I came with! But I didn't get soaked and so that was a plus! 

This is a view from a boat that we took to go on the river! 

I love this girl! She became one of my great friends here! We were on a boat ride to explore the area surrounding the Golden Triangle and to go to Laos! That Rain Dress really helped me to stay dry during this ride! :)
This is Laos! (Or a view of it from the shore!) We had to pay 30 baht to go in and explore some markets. I felt like I was still in Thailand, it looked like Thailand at least!

The whole Golden Triangle exploration group!!
I went to another country! My list of countries that I have been too is quickly expanding this summer!

We spent an hour in Laos and then headed back to Thailand! 

We are in two places at once!
After we finished exploring at The Golden Triangle we stopped to get some lunch. This country is so funny sometimes. It seems like they just do things at their own time and convenience and when they want to! We got to this little market to get some lunch and they said that they would have to call the cook to come in and make our food! So they took our order, called the cook and we went out to explore a little bit of the surrounding area! I am glad that we did because we went to this really neat Temple!

The steps leading up to the Temple! These were INTENSE! I tried to race up them and by the top my legs were burning! It had really cool details on the steps as you can kind of see from the picture!

Happiness on the steps to the Temple!
Some views from up top! I loved these steps for some reason!
I usually only wear sandals here for this exact reason! You take your shoes off everywhere! I actually love it!

The doors to this Temple were so amazing and so detailed!

Inside the Temple.

This was a really neat Buddha that we got to see right next to the Temple! I can't tell you exactly how old it is , but it is well over 1,000 years old! How crazy is that! We were talking when we were there that we visit historical sites in the states and we go to things that are almost 200 years old and it is so cool because they are so old! Visiting this temple put a whole new perspective on visiting old things!
You can tell that this is really old by how much it is falling apart!! It was so cool to be there!!
Earlier in the week we went back to one of our favorite spots, the Obstacle course!! It has made so much progress in the last couple of weeks! There is still so much that needs to be done, but it is coming along!
Look at the main structure now!! This is where we spent hours digging holes and now look at it!
Another view with the painted stumps in the picture!

A tire climbing place! I'm not sure what the proper name for this is, but I think the kids will love it! It was the quite the process putting this all together! We also have to think of ways to cover the bottom of each tire so they don't collect water. Dengue Fever is a big concern here, so we have to be extra careful to make sure we don't create situations where that could be a problem!
This isn't the best picture, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like from a distance!

Since it has been raining so much lately we haven't been able to paint as much as we would like. So instead of painting a lot this past week we did a lot of other things. I spent a lot of time sanding down the big poles on the main structure trying to make them as smooth as possible. I have a vision of wood in log cabins in the mountains back in the states of really nice wood railings and beams in the cabins and I want to make the poles looks like that! I just don't think that will happen with us doing it by hand :)
One morning we had the chance to teach and outreach at a village that is about 15 minuets from our house here in Thaton. It was amazing that we didn't go very far and there was so much poverty at this place. The town that we live in isn't the nicest place in the world, but it is clean and quaint and nice. The village we went to is so different from where we live.
I presented a little presentation with two other volunteers here in my group. Our topic was the importance of staying in school and getting an education. Most people here don't really go past 6th grade here. Most people don't really have dreams of doing anything big with their career, they just stay here and farm or work in little shops. As a result of this most people are illiterate and very poor.
So we created this little skit and showed the lives of two different people, one who stayed in school and the other who didn't and where it took them in their lives. I was portraying the one student who stayed in school and had this wonderful future, and the other girl was the one who didn't stay in school and she had kind of a sad life. We ended it happily though! They offer adult education courses here in the evenings and so we talked about going back to school even if you are older in life! I'm not sure if the people were more entertained with our acting abilities, which were not the best I have to say, or if they really liked what we were saying. It was interesting because the people we were presenting to don't even speak Thai, they had their own little language there. So we had a guy from our group who spoke Thai say what we were doing then the village had a guy who translated it from Thai to their language. It was kind of a neat process to see. 
After our skit we had a poster that we drew and had one of the Thai speakers in our group write in Thai "Knowledge is Power!" We then had pictures and captions of the benefits that come from going to school. They included: You are happier! You are able to support your family! You make good friends! You are able to see the world! You are able to make more money! You are able to get a better job!

Here is us in action!!

Some people coming to the outreach! One of our country directors counted and there were about 105 people in attendance at this outreach! It was quite the success!

Do you see what I mean about this village being different then the one that we live in?
 Some of the cute kids at the outreach! I think that Thai kids are so beautiful!

We were asked to bring humanitarian supplies with us here. Before I came I picked up some from the mom of one of our country directors and I collected some extra kid's clothes from people in my home area. We were able to give all of those clothes away at this outreach along with toys for the little kids! It was fun to see who all those supplies went to! If you are reading this blog and donated stuff for me to take to Thailand, THANK YOU!! We have many more outreaches in our future so I will know we will continue to give things out! 
I have mentioned before that we are helping build a school. We went back there this past week and continued to help them with their foundation! I don't have many pictures from that day and what we did, but it was a hard working day for us all! We dug dirt and filled the foundation with that. That was quite the process! After that we covered all that dirt with a layer of sand, that was also the process! I think it is so much different here because we only had a few buckets and did all this with buckets, so it took us more time. After we put the sand over the dirt we started putting cement on top of the sand! that building is not going anywhere! That was the hardest part of the day!
Luckily for all involved the kids in that village were helping us out the whole time! They became a part of our assembly lines which made it so much more fun! They are hard workers!!
My job for part of the time was to stand by this big bucket where all of the cement that they had mixed up on top of a hill and then sent down this make- shirt shaft down to the bucket and then fill all the small buckets with that cement! (I probably made that sound so much more complicated then it needed to be!) It was an intense job! It started raining right before I started doing that so I got confused if I was so wet from the rain or from sweating so much from how hard it was! Either way I loved it! I love working hard and being productive and I felt that I was able to do both of those things with that job! I got COVERED in cement from that, but it was so worth it! I learned another new skill for my future :) So if you ever need some help mixing cement and putting into buckets and then sending it down a large assembly line give me a call and I will help you out :)
It is fun to see the progress that is being made with that school!

We ended the day with a visit to an Orphanage that is really close to our house! These kids were some of the cutest kids I have met here! For some reason I was so amazed with how happy they are! The couple who run the Orphanage are a Christian couple and they have huge hearts and are doing this because they want to help. So even though these kids are without their parents they are blessed with who is taking care of them now. We are looking into different ways that we can help them and will be working on that in the future!!


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