Today we woke up and went to school where we learned how to cook traditional thai meals. we also learned how to make a dessert with flowers. After we finished working with them, we went to the Weekend Market which was HUGE. We shopped for the rest of the day, then headed back to the hotel and relaxed before dinner.
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."
Monday, August 3, 2009
Today is my seventeenth birthday- my gift? a ten hour train ride watching the pouring rain and incredibly boring rice fields. The rain just stopped; things just got exciting... (to be continued).
"You were never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however."
We began the day after eating breakfast with picking palm seeds. Many of us had difficulties, since the tool used to cut the seeds down weighed as much as a small child. We butchered many of the seeds with this tool in the process. Afterwards, we planted Longhan trees, followed by lunch. Then we painted small glasses and bottles with designs like dancing fruit. At the end of the day, we watched the New Life boys perform a closing ceremony. They first performed Thai martial arts which was very intense and well performed. Finally, they had a fire performance. First, threee guys jumped through a hoop of fire. And then, four guys did fire breathing. It was a very enchanting night. Exhausted, we went to bed preparing for our ten hour train ride the next day.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Today we woke up at 6:30AM and went to the rubber tree plantation. We got to see how they gathered the sap and we got to do it as well. After breakfast, we learned the art of silk screening and got to make our own t-shirts. After a great rice and fried chicken lunch, we learned about the Songran celebration. In Thailand, they celebrate the new year in April. Since it was the hottest time of the year then, the festival always ends in a water fight. So even though it was July, we participated in our own water fight with the boys in the rehab center.
Later in the evening, we enjoyed performances from the boys and in return, we danced the Macarena and Jorge sang opera in Italian. Like always, everyone was amazed at how beautiful it was. After the performances, we all had a dance party to celebrate the good times we had together.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We were all exhausted from the day before and yet excited for our first day at Chumphon. We got to know everyone by doing a rally which was really fun, interesting and brought us all together. We were told if it didn't rain we were going to the beach. To tell you the truth, when it comes to the weather, in Thailand you never know. Luckily it didn't rain and we got to go to the beach.
When we got there, we didn't know what to do so we all stared at each other then ran to the water. The temperature of the water was delicious. The only problem for most of the girls of course, was that the ocean was full of seaweed and the boys couldn't let that chance go out of their hands. They started a seaweed fight and after the seaweed was gone, we all wanted to continue "fighting" so we continued with mud. It was really fun.
After, we had a forum together. The guys were having a bit of a problem opening up with us about their pasts, but we encouraged them. Instead of us giving them advice, they actually ended up helping us more. I was really happy and thankful for that.
Lastly, I want to say that overall it has been really fun and it is definitely one of the best trips of my life. I would definitely do it again without changing a single thing.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Everyone woke up at a shocking time of 5:30AM to catch our train. Soon after, we had our last breakfast at the New Life Center. After eating, we said goodbye to our buddies and they said their emotional farewells. Next was our six hour train ride to Chumphon. On the train, most people tried to catch some "Z's" while others, like Jorge and I, decided to fill our time making bracelets.
"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed."