Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My last month in Thailand, but I will return again...

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." - Richard Bach

While I was packing away some of my belongings that I had collected over this year I felt great pain. As if the box I was packing was not just my possessions but apart of my life here in Udon Thani. Packing my life away in a box...This year is nearly over and I am leaving a piece of my heart behind. Though I have had many difficulties to overcome this year, without them I could not have grown and matured into the young lady I am today, like my auntie Sabrina McKenna says,

"...people who haven't experienced adversity have little to prove."

I am so grateful for this past year and I will never forget it. Time goes by so fast and in many ways this year felt like a dream; flowing through my mind and filling it with adventures, trials, and crazy moments then drifting away as I return to the real world around me.

Though my year as an exchange student is ending, I know I will be returning to Thailand again, someday...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Khon Kaen, again...Let's go!

I went to Khon Kaen again but the main purpose of this trip was to meet/welcome the new AFS exchange student from America. It was a good short trip because Daniel, from Maha Sarakarm, was able to make it and P'Boss, from Korat. I also got to meet one of Kate's Thai friends, P'Apple.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Suzy in Nakhom Phanom with cha kai mok! ขาไข่มุข

My friend Suzanne and I.

Cha kai mok ขาไข่มุข Bubble tea.....heaven my favorite drink in Thailand. Though they have it in America it just seems to taste WAY better here. ^_^ Hands down, the best place for cha kai mok is in Nakhom Phanom (Suzanne and Emma don't know just how good they got it!) =)
I took a short holiday to Nakhom Phanom again to visit my good friend, Suzanne. It is always fun visiting her in the small, quite, and beautiful town. Sometimes I wish Udon Thani was like that. ^_^ I rode on the bicycle with Suzanne! (two people on one...) very scary.... ;p Well the second time we went out I got my own bicycle but it didn't make much of a difference because I am not very good at riding one in the first place.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์ Happy Songkran Day!

Celebrating my first Songkran festival in Korat or Nakhon Ratchasima was an experience of a lifetime! The first day of Songkran was the most exciting and by far the most intense days of my life! I went with P'Boss, P'Beer, P'Sun, and P'Say. We walked around for a long time with water guns in one hand and powder in the other. The Thai children enjoy Songkran the most because of the water and being able to splash anything and/or anyone! As we were walking around we past my friend's house. Rika, an exchange student from Japan came with us because the first day she had no plans for Songkran. Around 1 P.M. or so we went to P'Boss's friend's house which was right next to the main road where Songkran was taking place. There we played loud music, splashed water everywhere, and ate till the late afternoon. The day was so hot but because of all the iced water it felt much more cooler. =) Some other exchange friends join us at the house too, Caity and Josh. Both are from America. Josh came all the way from Chantaburi for Songkran. Songkran last for three days in Thailand, but after that first day, none of the other days really compare. ;p The only thing about Songkran that I don't like is the crazy random Thai that come up to you and cover you in baby powder, ugh!

Friday, April 10, 2009

intro to songkran....

Songkran or the Thai New Year is celebrated every year for three days (April 13th, 14th, and 15th.) Water plays an important role in the Songkran festival because it represents cleanse and purification for the new year, that is why Songkran is also referred to as the Water Festival. During Songkran people with get buckets of water or water guns and drench each other on the streets. Many times they also use powder and cover each other head to toe with a mixture of water and white baby powder. I am regretting not having my mother bring me water proof cameras when she came to visit me because now I have to figure out how to keep my camera safe and enjoy Songkran at the same time...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Orchids, moleskin art, and the road home....帰り道

Since I have returned to Udon Thani the days are calm and quiet. I retreat to the small garden in front of the house and listen to my Thailand. The world becomes a more seldom place as I realize that I am only in Thailand for a short time more. Udon Thani has become my home this past year and I feel a piece of my heart is slowly being torn from me. It will be very hard to leave in May... I also know that it will be many years before I can return to Thailand. One exchange student said that, "When I returned to my home country it felt as if everything the year before had been a dream..."

When I am in the States again the summer will be full of activities; graduation, family get togethers, friend's grad party's, grad night at Disneyland, Kristy's wedding, and moving to California for college. While these things are all very fun, I am worried that I will be unprepared for this step in my life. It is also painful to think that I will only be home in Kona for a short time and then, once again I will have to pack up and go somewhere, its just that now I have no clue how long it will be before I return home.

The southern tour reminded me so much of Hawaii and when I would go to the beach with all my friends. I am amazed at myself for wanting to go home so badly but not wanting to leave either. Conflicting emotions are never easy to describe. Well, I thought I might put up pictures of some of my pages from my moleskin journal. When ever I was overly emotional, thought too much, or just wanted to pass the time I would either write or draw. So out of my head and on to paper, creativity and boredom reign! Just kidding.

There have been new orchids blooming recently. Small, fragrant yellow ones fall from the tree and hang lightly in the wind. Those are my favorite of all the orchids at my house. I really fancy trees and flowers that hang down, almost like they are trying to touch the ground instead of reaching for the sky.

I feel more at ease now, so I can get to work on finishing so very difficult essays and sort out all my scholarship "to do" list.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

South of Thailand! Sun, sea, & stories!

Krabi was the frist stop on the tour and it was by far my favorite part of the whole trip. The whole day was spent visiting Mu Kopoda by boat. The islands there were so beautiful and different from eachother. I also enjoyed the day because our boat turned into a dance party! ^_^ Music, sun, water, and friends! It was so funny when some of my friends saw and held their first sea cucumber! There were also black vana in the water alittle ways out and it reminded me of the times when Kaitlin and I would go to the beach and eat them! Good times.
I felt that most of my time was spent either on a boat or a bus for a large amount of time. The boat ride to the Similan islands took way more than three hours...more like five! We slept a Ko Si island in tents... I am so happy that I remember to bring a pillow! I really did not like the sleeping arrangments at the island, tents no sleeping bags, communal showers, rats EVERYWHERE, and giant mosquitos!!!!
At one point in the tour we went to a tourist attraction with tons of Korean tourist! Couples with their matching outfits and old couples with polo tops.

Phuket was not what I thought it would be at all in one way or another. For some reason I thought Phuket would be more of a metropolis and condensed. Instead it was spread out, small buildings, and vegetation everywhere. It was still like the rest of Thailand (excluding Bangkok and Chiang Mai) despite international popularity.