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    [post_date] => 2008-07-18 00:00:00
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Three weeks have officially passed, which marks the halfway point of the journey. Our group just arrived back in Thailand after spending 4 days in Burma. We learned lots about the political situation, went on a day long trek, visiting hill tribe villages, and spent a day by ourselves, reflecting on Burma, and the trip thus far. This portion of the trip was especially informative and thought provoking. Next, we will embark on our homestays, which is always a highlight. We will be there for 10 days, living with a traditional Thai family in Chiang Muan, Mandy's Peace Core site. This trip continues to amaze me; every new adventure I take part in, and more importantly, every new person I meet, I learn more and more. 3 weeks down. 3 to go.

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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three weeks in

Zach Hodges,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

Three weeks have officially passed, which marks the halfway point of the journey. Our group just arrived back in Thailand after spending 4 days in Burma. We learned lots about the political situation, went on a day long trek, visiting hill tribe villages, and spent a day by ourselves, reflecting on Burma, and the trip […]

Posted On

07/18/08

Author

Zach Hodges

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hello,

today our group left Burma and went to Chiang Rai. while we were in Burma we went to many Hill Tribe villages and learned about the people that were in them. it was amazing! in addition, we all went on a "solo" day and walked around a small town in Burma by ourselves to think about our many adventures over the last 3 weeks. tomorrow we are going to our home stay village and i cant wait to be introduced to my home stay family and begin my 10 day home stay. i know we are all really excited and cant wait for the next three weeks. in addition, everyone in the group is getting along amazingly.

-stephen.

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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Return From Burma

Stephen Zaro,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

hello, today our group left Burma and went to Chiang Rai. while we were in Burma we went to many Hill Tribe villages and learned about the people that were in them. it was amazing! in addition, we all went on a "solo" day and walked around a small town in Burma by ourselves to […]

Posted On

07/18/08

Author

Stephen Zaro

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minglawa from burma! we are now in chang rai after spending 4 days in burma. the experience was fantastic. the food in burma is not as spicy as the food in thailand, but is absolutely delicious. we consistently had the tastiest food, never disappointed.

we trekked to different villages near tachilek on the first day. the trek was great, and most of us felt more confident because we recently finished a 3 day trek. the villages were larger than the ones in thailand, and there was a different energy in the environment. the people were rich in culture and religion. in the second village we trekked to, we ate lunch and interacted with the people for a longer time. the best part about the lunch were the bananas; they're tiny, sweet, and extremely addicting. by speaking to our guide, francis, who could translate everything the tribal people said into english, we all got the opportunity to learn a lot. we learned about the missionaries, education, tradition, and much more about the villages. but after learning about the lives of these people, so many more questions had aroused; it's overwhelming.

on our second day, we visited temples (it was the first day of lent for buddhists yesterday), journaled, interacted with different people around a large lake, and continued to experience brilliant food!

burma was a fantastic experience, but i think most of us are ready to go back home to thailand.

samip

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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minglawa!

samip raval,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

minglawa from burma! we are now in chang rai after spending 4 days in burma. the experience was fantastic. the food in burma is not as spicy as the food in thailand, but is absolutely delicious. we consistently had the tastiest food, never disappointed. we trekked to different villages near tachilek on the first day. […]

Posted On

07/18/08

Author

samip raval

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    [post_content] => Hey people! 

My name is Danny, and i was on this trip last year. I actually had my brithday during the trip which was fun (and i turn 17 in 3 days). Anyways, i'm posting here because during homestays, my brother was Bom, and he went to a "special study" (which isn't like an extra help class, it's just an additional study class he's in), and his teacher is a man named Ya. I'm still in contact with Bom, Ya, and the class. Ya just sent me a message this morning saying that Bom has a new friend from the Dragons group this year named Kevin Vasques who is also from MA and Ya wants me to know him.

So hey Kevin! All i really had the time to read was your intro with that list of things you're in so i didn't really see a lot of insight into who you are. When you get to homestays, please tell Bom and his special study that i miss them a lot! I'm sure you're all having a great time on the trip and homestays are coming up which are really the best part. I'm attaching a picture of the special study. I have (quite literally literally) 1000 pictures/videos from Thailand in a Picasa web album but i won't post them right now because it could give away the best event at the end of homestays. Derek, you'd better do that again!!!!!

Derek and Mandy, i miss you guys! And Pui too, but she's not on the trip this year. If this years group as awesome as we were? :) After almost a year, i've just started to take those dreadlocks out. They were really messy and i didn't take care of them. I'm not cutting them out-- i'm undoing them. It took me and a friend 4 hours to get about a third of them out and i haven't made any progress since haha. Derek, we've gotta hang out again when you get back! I check to see if you're playing chess when i go to Harvard Square but i'm yet to see you there!

My gmail is danny.piccirillo if anyone wants to email or GTalk me. Have a great trip! [post_title] => Have fun everyone! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => have-fun-everyone [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-18 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53843 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 451 [name] => Thailand, Summer 2008 [slug] => thailand-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 451 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 74 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 451 [category_count] => 74 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Thailand, Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => thailand-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/thailand-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Thailand, Summer 2008 )

Thailand, Summer 2008

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Have fun everyone!

Danny Piccirillo,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

Hey people! My name is Danny, and i was on this trip last year. I actually had my brithday during the trip which was fun (and i turn 17 in 3 days). Anyways, i’m posting here because during homestays, my brother was Bom, and he went to a "special study" (which isn’t like an extra […]

Posted On

07/18/08

Author

Danny Piccirillo

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    [post_content] => Today we returned from our four day visit to Burma.  After riding in a van for 5 hours throughthe beautiful countryside of Burma, we crossed the Thai border, and boarded a bus to Chang Rai.  After and hour and a half we arrived in Chang Rai and set off for the Night Bazaar.  We were all looking for white outfits for our temple stay, and to think that one of our last major activities is approaching reminds me that our trip is half way over.  However, we still have our homestay before then, and that is sure to be a memorable experience.  So although our trip is half way over, we still have half the trip left!
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Thailand, Summer 2008

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Arriving in Chiang Rai

Gabrielle Newell,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

Today we returned from our four day visit to Burma. After riding in a van for 5 hours throughthe beautiful countryside of Burma, we crossed the Thai border, and boarded a bus to Chang Rai. After and hour and a half we arrived in Chang Rai and set off for the Night Bazaar. We were […]

Posted On

07/18/08

Author

Gabrielle Newell

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-07-13 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Dear all,

We have just returned to the town of Mae Hong Son after a four day trek to three hilltribe villages in the nearby mountains. Our experienced local guide, P'Wasan, arranged homestays with three Karen (or Puk-ah-yaw) villages. "Thub-leu," as we have learned, is both hello and thank you in Puk-ah-yaw. Here is a recap of the last few days:

Day One: We started our trek at a rotational farming plot which the local village guides taught us could be re-used every seven years, giving the land enough time to naturally recover and replenish. The hike started out downhill, and we were given a quick introduction to the muddy trails and to getting dirty! One of the guides sped ahead of the group to clear away jungle foliage while P'Wasan pointed out thorned or harmful plants to avoid (similar to poison ivy or poison oak back home). He also pointed out insects and medicinal and edible plants. We also encountered leeches along the way - which is typical of all past Dragons treks in Mae Hong Son. These jungle leeches are only half an inch long and resemble tiny worms rather than the slug-sized leeches many of us have seen in the movies. Never fear, the students were a great support in sighting and removing them from each other.

We arrived at our first village, Bahn Nahm Hoo. In pairs, the students selected their homestay families who took them to visit a local cave before they rested from the half-day hike and served dinner. Students were introduced to their first taste of freshly harvested bamboo shoots as well as the locally grown rice - grown naturally with no articial fertilizers or chemical pesticides. The students also took their first bucket showers, a refreshing splash after a day of trekking and a new highlight to bathing in Thailand!

Day Two: Another half day of trekking, the majority of which was downhill and even muddier than the previous day. Surprisingly, there weren't too many spills. Our guide taught us how to plant our walking sticks in the mud ahead of us and simply slide down the mud as if we were snowboarding (sortof). We also crossed a number of small ankle-deep streams throughout the day, which was great for cleaning off all the mud. The group began to play some heated games of MOVIE along the way to test people's film and actor trivia. We ate lunch by small rice paddies, and headed to our second village. Upon arrival, the villagers were still off farming and fishing, so we spent the afternoon cooling off at a swimming hole and playing a killer game of mafia. Because this village was a fishing village, every meal was naturally accompanied by fish - as well as rice, stir-fried veggies and bamboo.

Day Three: Our toughest day of trekking: all uphill and went well into the afternoon. We took numerous water and rest breaks. The group had to work together to stay as a group, and account for everyone's trekking/hiking experience. There were some pretty steep points, and we paced ourselves as needed. Some students were skeptical that we had reached the peak of our trail and that the last 30 minutes would be a downhill hike into the village. We reached the village tired and drenched in sweat. Our host families welcomed us and gave us time to rest and bathe before dinner and the evening church service (this was a Christian village). The next morning, the students led the village children in a few childhood games and songs: Hokey Pokey, Red Light Green Light, to name a few. The children taught the students the Thai version of Duck Duck Goose, called "Mon Sawn Pah," which the students said was sneakier than the version they know. We also joined in another morning service, which in addition to prayer and songs, included snacks and games.

We had lunch and said our farewells to the families. We loaded ourselves and our packs into the back of the pickups and headed back down the mountain towards town.

Until next time... now its off to Mae Sai and into Burma!

Best,

Instructor Team (Derek, Mandy, Virada)

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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Thub leu!

Virada Chatikul,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

Dear all, We have just returned to the town of Mae Hong Son after a four day trek to three hilltribe villages in the nearby mountains. Our experienced local guide, P’Wasan, arranged homestays with three Karen (or Puk-ah-yaw) villages. "Thub-leu," as we have learned, is both hello and thank you in Puk-ah-yaw. Here is a […]

Posted On

07/13/08

Author

Virada Chatikul

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elephants.

we visited an elephant park about an hour away from Chang Mai. it was in a lucious green, sequestered area. when we arrived at the forresty heavan where 33 elephants were cared for and loved, we were given numerous safety instructions. we first got to feed the elephants, which was quite a daunting experience. we fed them watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, and other fruits. their large trucks would devoure the abundant foods in our hands, and we got was slimey elephant snot... yummy. we then went on to my favorite part of the day, bathing the elephants. it was a simple game- splash the elephants. for some reason, elephants can feel so comfortable playing in the water and then getting out and rolling around the the dirt. i tried it... but i just couldn't be as happy doing it as they were... the most romantic part of the day was elephant kisses. they'd put their trunk up to our faces and suck in- such a tingly and weird feeling. it's great that these Asian elephants that have been abused, hurt, drugged, blinded, etc., finally have a place where they can be loved.

we start our four day trek tomorrow and we are all syked! the city of Me Hong Song is comprise ofonly 15,000is extremely beautiful and forresty. i've kept my facial hair to get the ruggedy feel for the trek!

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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feeling at home already

samip raval,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

elephants. we visited an elephant park about an hour away from Chang Mai. it was in a lucious green, sequestered area. when we arrived at the forresty heavan where 33 elephants were cared for and loved, we were given numerous safety instructions. we first got to feed the elephants, which was quite a daunting experience. […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

samip raval

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    [post_date] => 2008-07-08 00:00:00
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I have been in Thailand for only 8 days and already I cannot describe everything that I have done. I am proud to say that Where there be Dragons has changed my perspective on life. Two days ago, I learned the hardships that Elephants endure from both their trainers and the Tourist who support it. We went to an Elephant camp founded by "Lek" where we were able to feed and bathe those majestic creatures. Yet this is just one the many things learned on this trip. I have also learned the art of meditation though I am only a novice. Meditation is a means to recognize inner turmoil and has helped me a lot on this trip.

I have also learned what heaven truly means . . . . FOOD. The food I have had during this trip has been awesome. I have learned what the word spicy truly means. I have tried soups, noodles, curries, sweets, and the all important rice dishes. I have also had ชาเย้น which is Thai's Iced tea. It is the best thing I have ever tasted.

Besides the food aspect of the culture, I have gone to the Ching Mai national museum as well as the national park of Sokhothai which had many ruins of the old city. This historical aspect explains many of the Thai traditions here. Overall, this a learning experiance that never gets boring propably because of the Thai massages. Tomorrow we start trekking which is going to be sooooooo fun for me. After that it's our home stays. I cant wait.

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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The way to Enlightenment

Edward Rivera,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

I have been in Thailand for only 8 days and already I cannot describe everything that I have done. I am proud to say that Where there be Dragons has changed my perspective on life. Two days ago, I learned the hardships that Elephants endure from both their trainers and the Tourist who support it. […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Edward Rivera

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We have just finished visiting a large tourist city, Chieng Mai and now have moved north to a beautiful small town surrounded by jungle. I've tryed so many different fruits including some of the best mango I've ever tasted! We also traveled to an elephant sanctuary where they help abused elephants become healthy and live happy lives. We've also learned how to cook tasty thai dishes and visited an organic farm. The good conversations, temple visitsand mediationis just the chocolate sauce on our rotee. (really good Thai crepe like desert)

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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Before we Embark on our Trek

Monique Kelmenson,Thailand, Summer 2008

Description

We have just finished visiting a large tourist city, Chieng Mai and now have moved north to a beautiful small town surrounded by jungle. I’ve tryed so many different fruits including some of the best mango I’ve ever tasted! We also traveled to an elephant sanctuary where they help abused elephants become healthy and live […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Monique Kelmenson

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    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
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We just had the shortest plane ride! And no, it was not short because we got used to our 16 hour ride, in this plane ride, right when we reached our top altitude, we immediately began our decent!

Maehongsong seems really different than Chiang Mai. Less tourist-ty! I mean it's hard for me to say, "good no tourists!" because it woud be easy to argue that we are tourists... but I have to disagree. I remeber being back home and receiving that ... 20 or 30 page introductory packet.. I mean I read it all but I never truly understood what Dragons staff meant with "traveling close to the gorund"... So I have decided that as Dragons Students we are best refered to as "Foreigners". Sure it seems isolating, but even talking to Mandy and Derek and Josh and having them explain to us that even after over at least 4 years here, it's "cool" to be a "foreigner". Sure I wish it could be something else... but that's just me!

Just as a warning, the group as a whole will be somewhat discomunicated because we are on our way to our 5 day, 4 night Jungle trek and Hill Tribe "home stay."

So excited, so loving it!

yay! found a computer with a memory-card-accesible slot! so chackout the pics!!!!

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Thailand, Summer 2008

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On our way to the jungle trek

Kevin Vasquez,Thailand, Summer 2008

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We just had the shortest plane ride! And no, it was not short because we got used to our 16 hour ride, in this plane ride, right when we reached our top altitude, we immediately began our decent! Maehongsong seems really different than Chiang Mai. Less tourist-ty! I mean it’s hard for me to say, […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Kevin Vasquez

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