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We have just completed our 6-day long jungle trek. The first day, we "met the leeches", as Pui put it. They suckled the blood from our feet like sapling cows at the teat. The trek was long and mud-gilded. We all slipped and fell but perservered immensely! The jungle was beautiful and we consumed its little jungle-fruits as we stumbled along in our tevas blindly poking along with sharpened bamboo longstaffs. The first village was situtated on a muddy slope, and the warm-hearted hilltribe families accepted us with open arms (even if we had diarrhea -- Muffz, I'm looking at you). It was challenging to eat all of the rice and vegetable items they hoped that we would, but we managed. We also snuggled with kittens quite a lot. They had large and dewy eyes. And no hair. Upon the next morn, we trekked atop a mud-crowned hill and visited upon the site of a rice farm and cavernous.. cave... We got to see bats! That night, we attended church at one of the hill tribe family's house, although it was less of a house and more of a precarious bamboo-floored dwelling. We drank stick water and watched them pray. They were a kind and devout population.

The second day of trekking surpassed the first in terms of beauty. The jungle was a glistening verdant gem, rife with a wealth of bright-colored beeltes and spiders and water buffalos. We feared that monkeys would throw upon us with sharp rocks and that we would have to sprint for cover, but thankfully we were safe! The rice paddies, nestled amongst the towering forest, were some of the most glorious sights we have so far encountered. The trek was relatively easy, and we reached the village shortly after midday. We were all slightly nervous, as we had heard it was a fishing village, and that we would be consuming fish morning, noon, and night. However, we only had fish once. And rat twice. Further, our host brother was very attractive. Our host father was named Pappi Samile, which means Uncle Smile. This nickname is due to the fact that he smiles quite often. In the village, we repaired a fence by felling bamboo and forming it into fence posts. We later swam amongst the aforementioned fish in a jungle watering hole. We also caught grasshoppers in our bare hands and impaled them on metal pikes in order to attempt to scrounge dinner. This was unsuccesful.

The final trekking day was by far the most daunting! It was 2 miles through a very steep mountainous jungle terrain. We all dripped sweat like precipitation from the gleaming white clouds. After we completed the mountain trek, we continued to make our way uphill for another 4 miles or so. However, it was not unenjoyable and the final village was our most favorite. Our host father spoke very good English, and there was a 2 week old baby living in the home. We had a meeting with all of the villagers, and we shared questions and answers. Then they engaged us with accounts of village legends, explaining why the Karen hill tribes divided and why we have such a different lifestyle than they. The next day, we aided at the school. We taught songs to the children and played a variety of American games with them. They were so adorable with their gleaming eyes and grubby paws. Everyone was so happy to spend time with them, even after one child miturated on Katie's leg. Then we left from the village on a bumpy mountain road and vistited a vibrant alabaster temple. Now we are preparing to embark on a bus, lovingly nicknamed "The Vomit Comet", for 9 hours. It should be a lot of fun.

Sincerely,

Ali and Callie

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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Everything is Gleaming

Ali Offer and Callie Beusman,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

We have just completed our 6-day long jungle trek. The first day, we "met the leeches", as Pui put it. They suckled the blood from our feet like sapling cows at the teat. The trek was long and mud-gilded. We all slipped and fell but perservered immensely! The jungle was beautiful and we consumed its […]

Posted On

06/3/08

Author

Ali Offer and Callie Beusman

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An empty street,

An empty house,

A whole inside my heart.

Im all alone.

The rooms are getting smaller.

I wonder how,

I wonder why,

I wonder where they are.

The days we had,

The songs we sang together.

Oh, yeah.

And oh, my love.

Im holding on forever.

Reaching for a love that seems so far.

So, I say a little prayer.

And hope my dreams will take me there.

Where the skies are blue.

To see you once again,

My love.

Over seas and coast to coast.

Find the place I love the most.

Where the fields are green.

To see you once again,

My love.

I try to read,

I go to work,

Im laughin with my friends.

But I cant stop,

To keep myself from thinking.

Oh, no.

I wonder how,

I wonder why,

I wonder where they are.

The days we had,

The songs we sang together.

Oh, yeah.

And oh, my love.

Im holding on forever.

Reaching for a love that seems so far.

So, I say a little prayer.

And hope my dreams will take me there.

Where the skies are blue.

To see you once again,

My love.

Over seas and coast to coast.

Find the place I love the most.

Where the fields are green.

To see you once again...

To hold you in my arms.

To promise you my love.

To tell you from the heart,

Youre what Im thinking of.

Im reaching for the love that seems so far.

Soooo, I say a little prayer.

(yeeaahhh...)

And hope my dreams will take me there.

Where the skies are blue.

To see you once again,

My love.

(looove)

Over seas and coast to coast.

(over seas)

Find the place I love the most.

(love the most)

Where the fields are green.

To see you once again,

My love.

I say a little prayer

(my sweet prayer)

Dreams will take me there

Where the skies are blue

(oh yeah)

To see you once again

(oh, my love)

Over seas and coast to coast

To find the place I love the most.

Where the fields are green.

To see you once again,

My love.

i miss you guys. i miss thailand.

[post_title] => Singsong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => singsong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2007-08-09 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=55649 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 467 [name] => Thailand, Summer 2007 [slug] => thailand-summer-2007 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 467 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 260 [count] => 20 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 32.1 [cat_ID] => 467 [category_count] => 20 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Thailand, Summer 2007 [category_nicename] => thailand-summer-2007 [category_parent] => 260 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2007/thailand-summer-2007/ ) ) [category_links] => Thailand, Summer 2007 )

Thailand, Summer 2007

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Singsong

Ali,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

An empty street, An empty house, A whole inside my heart. Im all alone. The rooms are getting smaller. I wonder how, I wonder why, I wonder where they are. The days we had, The songs we sang together. Oh, yeah. And oh, my love. Im holding on forever. Reaching for a love that seems […]

Posted On

08/9/07

Author

Ali

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can't believe we are almost at the end of this 42-day-long trip.

today morning, we vistied Lumpini park in Bangkok and had some time tracing back things we have done so far; first we wrote letters to ourselves which we are going to receive after 3 months from now. After that, we met back in the front gate of the park and talked about the first day we met each other and all the happening during the trip.. also, we filled out the evaluation forms for our leaders and ourselves. Sitting in a bench in the park and having some solo time while doing evaluation felt really good to me. After that, we had free time; some of us went to Kasan road again and resumed our shopping process(?) and others went back to the guest house and started packing. It was quite a challenge to pack every stuff I've bought into my packs.(& it made me realize how much shopping I have done)

Leaving Thailand tomorrow has not hit me until now but I know that I will miss our group, Thai people and culture when I go back to home. Chan Chur Thai!

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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last day of this trip!

Suah,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

can’t believe we are almost at the end of this 42-day-long trip. today morning, we vistied Lumpini park in Bangkok and had some time tracing back things we have done so far; first we wrote letters to ourselves which we are going to receive after 3 months from now. After that, we met back in […]

Posted On

08/7/07

Author

Suah

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    [post_content] => It is hard to know where to begin my final yak yak (in field at least). It still doesn't feel like I am leaving tonight or that in a few short hours I will be on a plane to England. Our past few days in Bangkok have been both crazy and fun. Today we went to Khao San Road (the real one ha ha) and got henna dragons tattoos on our wrists. This morning we got up early so that we could be a part of all the early morning action at Lumpini Park. A good place for reflection, tai chi, and a variety of other activities... It feels very strange that our trip is coming to a close; after waking up and seeing these people every day for the past six weeks, I know that it is going to be very hard not to see everyone every day. Other things I will miss: yellow shirt mondays, saying 'sawadee ka' and 'korp kun ka' to people, kao pat guy and pad thai, smiling at strangers, crazy tuk tuk rides, meditation every morning, the sight of rice fields out of the train window, playing cards at night, the sights and smells of markets, highs, lows and challenges every night, and so much more... It's hard to put the experience into words, so I think I'll end there. Thank you Thailand!! 
    [post_title] => Leaving Thailand
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Thailand, Summer 2007

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Leaving Thailand

Emery,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

It is hard to know where to begin my final yak yak (in field at least). It still doesn’t feel like I am leaving tonight or that in a few short hours I will be on a plane to England. Our past few days in Bangkok have been both crazy and fun. Today we went […]

Posted On

08/7/07

Author

Emery

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    [post_date] => 2007-08-05 00:00:00
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in short, here is a summary of the last week:

we went to the beach and frolicked around for 2 days. the water was warmer than most of the showers i have taken whilst on this trip.

then we went to Igz's peace corps site, and (this is not exactly chronological but you can deal) volunteered at the local school, finished the world map they started while Igz was still amongst them, donated rice to a school, and met his friend named Dave, who is missing a finger and who has a lot of interesting stories and so forth.

after a day in his site, we left for temple stay. it was amazing. we stayed in a forest temple and there were three foreign monks there, two of whom could speak english to us (the other had taken a three-month vow of silence). so the first day, we meditated from one to three, both sitting and walking meditation, as well as chanting. we then listened to the monks lecture us on buddhism. then we helped the monks with chores and had alone time (it was really productive alone time and i got a lot of thinking done, which made me very happy) and then chanting from seven to eight and meditation from eight to nine. (we were living like monks, so we only ate one meal a day, and solid food only before noon). the second day we woke up at three thirty and then had chanting and meditation until five, if memory serves. then the boys went out to gather alms, but we couldn't go because women don't do that. so we slept. then had breakfast. then more solo time, more thinking, and then we got kicked out.

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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Regarding temple stay, &cetera

Callie,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

in short, here is a summary of the last week: we went to the beach and frolicked around for 2 days. the water was warmer than most of the showers i have taken whilst on this trip. then we went to Igz’s peace corps site, and (this is not exactly chronological but you can deal) […]

Posted On

08/5/07

Author

Callie

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-31 00:00:00
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Chieng Mai has been great. We arrived a few days ago and have used the time to catch up. Checking in with e-mails, visiting temples, giving the students time to write postcards, check out the city learn about Thai cooking and learn all about Burma.

Tomorrow we will start the travel to Mai Sai to head across the border to Burma. We have double checked visas and are taking care of pictures of the few students who did not have enough. Yesterday we met with a woman who knows Burma quite well. She was able to update us on dos and donts of Burma as well as the current political situation in Burma. An amaizing and heavy talk. We left feeling full of knowledge and a bit sad about all that is happening. The conversations have been great and all of our brains have really been working. We will be in Burma for a total of 4 days. We might not be sending too many Yak Yaks however, we will write as soon as we return to Thailand.

Chieng Mai has been great, it is time to move on, after Burma we will be heading to homestays in Phayao. All the students seem really excited for both Burma and home-stays. We hope you all are doing well as we are having a great time here in the land of smiles.

Team Thailand

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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Off to Burma…

Mandy,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

Chieng Mai has been great. We arrived a few days ago and have used the time to catch up. Checking in with e-mails, visiting temples, giving the students time to write postcards, check out the city learn about Thai cooking and learn all about Burma. Tomorrow we will start the travel to Mai Sai to […]

Posted On

07/31/07

Author

Mandy

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-30 00:00:00
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transportaion has been a major component throughout the entirety of the trip. We've experienced many different modes of getting around, the list is as follows: from sung taos to walking, buses, tuk tuks, and planes. Taxis, truks, bicycles, boats, and the newest the trains. Hey! that rhymed.(top that Callie =D)

however, as exciting as that may sound to the unexperienced traveler, it really isn't. It's a big hassle and a reoccuring low for the majority of the group.

I expected the same from the train we took to the beach, but it turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable ride. The reason being because I met these three really cool chinese girls. They were college graduates teaching chinese in Bangkok for a year. Its amazing to think how many interesting people you can meet if you just make the desicion to say hello to the stranger next to you in a bus, train, or whatever. It only takes a simple smile and a "hey where you from?" to begin. They offered me fish flavored strips of some sort and then the conversation began.

There are so many amazing people out there and there is absolutely no possible way to meet every single one. I will probably never see those three ladies again, but now I have a connection in China. And there it is right there. That is what life is all about: making connections with others no matter if you see them again or not.

rigo

live.laugh.learn.love

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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the train

Rigo,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

transportaion has been a major component throughout the entirety of the trip. We’ve experienced many different modes of getting around, the list is as follows: from sung taos to walking, buses, tuk tuks, and planes. Taxis, truks, bicycles, boats, and the newest the trains. Hey! that rhymed.(top that Callie =D) however, as exciting as that […]

Posted On

07/30/07

Author

Rigo

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I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Homestay families, friends back home, and Dragons students for making this homestay such an incredible experience for all. We have had a number of challenges during homestay, but have really grown together as a group and supported each other in tough times. I don't think I have ever been around such a mature and respectful group of students as we have on this trip.

I've certainly enjoyed reading all the homestay posts, hearing all the funny, awkward, and challenging experiences each of the students have had. The past eight days have really gone by fast. It seems like just yesterday we met our homestay bothers and sisters; employing all modes of communication in order to get to know them, which even included had gestures and slow motion English speaking at times. All in all it was a great learning experience for the students and leaders.

I'm also really proud of the students and the bonds they formed with their families. Everyone really made an effort to try new things and learn as much as they could during homestay. Each year I come back to Chieng Muan I realize just how much the community loves the opportunity to interact with Americans, and to learn about American culture. Hopefully as a group, and as individuals, we can take their enthusiasm for discovery with us throughout the rest of our trip in Thailand.

Tonight we're off to Bangkok on a night bus, and then will be doing our temple stay shortly thereafter at my old Peace Corps site in the province of Ratchaburi. We'll keep you posted!

- Derek AKA Igz

P.S. Thanks Sean, I like to think I looked pretty good as well. :P

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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Homestay

Derek,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Homestay families, friends back home, and Dragons students for making this homestay such an incredible experience for all. We have had a number of challenges during homestay, but have really grown together as a group and supported each other in tough times. I don’t […]

Posted On

07/27/07

Author

Derek

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I was talked into dressing up as Miss Chiang Muan 2007 along with Dereck. It was the most degrading thing I've ever done, but in some weird way it was kinda fun. I can't say I'll be putting makeup on or dressig up all lady-of-the-night any time soon, but for that one time it was worth it. The girls got a kick out of it and the kids seemed to like it as well. I didn't look as trampy as Dereck, but I was up there. Lets just hope that my popularity with the ladyboys didn't increase =(

That same day we had our party. I went to get a haircut with Dereck and Tuk after Eng Camp was over. It took some time because apparantly the ladyboy who runs the place is really popular. My cut didnt turn out as I wanted it, but it was fun. She gave me a head massage after. I dont know if that was common procedure but lets just say it was. After our haircut Tuk drove me to the house where my outfit was waiting for me. It was comprised of a pair of brown thai-massage style pants, a long sleeve white shirt, a red/gold scarf thing around my shoulder, and best of all an awesome blue/orage head wrap: Genie status. I looked good according to peoples complement.

The party was a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing everyone all dressed up. We danced(for the record: worst dance ever) and did some singing too. We all went up and gave our speeches, I dont know how much they understood, but its okay as long as they understood how grateful we were.

Rigo

Live.Laugh.Learn.Love

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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dressing up is fun!!

Rigo Lara,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

I was talked into dressing up as Miss Chiang Muan 2007 along with Dereck. It was the most degrading thing I’ve ever done, but in some weird way it was kinda fun. I can’t say I’ll be putting makeup on or dressig up all lady-of-the-night any time soon, but for that one time it was […]

Posted On

07/26/07

Author

Rigo Lara

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    [post_date] => 2007-07-26 00:00:00
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Today is our last homestay day and surprisingly I have to say I leave wanting more. I dreaded the beginning of the whole thing especially the first day. That first night I laid on my bed, which was a pretty dam good bed to say the least, I thought to myself: how the hell are we going to want to stay here longer? I guess its like that for almost everything isn't? We always let our judgement be clouded by first impressions and thus carry a negative perspective with us. Is not until we actually attempt to understand and respect things that we begin to appreciate and accept. It was like this for me throughtout this whole week. I can honestly say that I will miss all of it very much. I'll miss my house, the friends I made, the good times we had, the food, the overall experience, and yes, the attention as well.

Goobyes are sad. But the more bitter the goodbye the sweeter the reunion. Yeah, kinda corny but its true. I dont know if I'll ever come back to this town. I like to think that I will, but I dont know.

For now I take with me all the laughs, all the pictures, all the fun times and the bad times too, all the memories, all the new friendships, and most importantly the strenghthen friendship we now have among the group, well at least I think so.

on to temple stay

Rigo

LIVE.LAUGH.LEARN.LOVE

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Thailand, Summer 2007

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last homestay day

Rigo Lara,Thailand, Summer 2007

Description

Today is our last homestay day and surprisingly I have to say I leave wanting more. I dreaded the beginning of the whole thing especially the first day. That first night I laid on my bed, which was a pretty dam good bed to say the least, I thought to myself: how the hell are […]

Posted On

07/26/07

Author

Rigo Lara

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