Finally took a well needed vacation by heading to Phuket for a few days. It was such a trek to get there but it was worth it. The mahout of my cool elephant Chumpe was really cool and let me get off the little seat they put tourists on. He signaled for me to copy him and get on top of Chumpe’s head. It was only for a mere second that I was like “Umm no!” and then brushed it off and thought what the heck. So I got to scrabble through his thick, creepily hairy back and climb on top. I have never clenched my thighs so hard in my life. I missed Chiang Mai though, it felt more like a home…though I am aware I was in a hotel lol. I dunno, Phuket felt soooo touristy it was starting to get obnoxious. Ha, the New Yorker getting sick of the touristy things. Had a good time getting sunburned as well. I have never had a painful sunburn before…I may have started to smell like bacon at some point. And everything in that video is real….including that amazing plane ride ❤
Teaching the HS boys was a challenging but welcoming surprise.
My favorite smiling boy that captures my heart
We were not there for that long. Five days. Just five days to try and communicate with such a different population of students. I’ve worked with inner city youth and this was the extreme opposite. I was so hesitant about the experience to begin with, being told that we are absolutely not to touch the boys because of my gender. Talk about pressure and everything I’ve ever known being thrown out the window. As a non official teacher in City Year, I reaped the benefits of hugging my students and just the act of physical touch to show them that I cared about their well being and who they were. I never realized how much I cherished kids until I did that job. And it also amazed me that kids could actually really like me. Haha surprised right?
These kids? I fell in love with one of those little boys. He must have been 8ish and had the most contagious smile and laugh. It was in his laughter and relaxed manner of being just a child that I felt comfortable teaching a room of monks. I wanted to keep him lol and I even felt my heart soften when I thought and wondered how often he was able to see his own mother.
The experience was a unique pleasure, seeing so many be comfortable with us even if we were women and what servant’s heart they had as they brought us coffee and cake with a kind humbleness. Though at times words were not enough, smiles were.
Jodi and I visited the Tiger Kingdom right before leaving Chiang Mai. For $10 we got to chill with 3 tigers and get up close and personal with them. The tigers have a nice sanctuary to live in and then get into cages when people pay to meet them. Jodi and I were a bit hesitant about the park initially. I was concerned with how they would treat the animals. From what we saw the trainers really enjoyed their job and were playful with them. They train them using only sticks, don’t believe in declawing and try to keep the environment as stress-free as possible. Jodi, oh so brave, boasted that it would be nothing. Check out the video 🙂