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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Nov 2008

Location: Michigan, USA

MapWow, what an amazing trip. My wife and I were in Thailand from mid-July to mid-August and had an absolutely wonderful time! Before we left for the trip I kept wondering what the hard parts would be and if a month would seem like a long time to be in a completely different culture. What a different attitude I have about it now! A month was not nearly long enough and I wish I could have stayed in Thailand much longer. After a month it seemed that we were just forming strong bonds with our students and fellow teachers. We were just getting to know all of our friends in Thailand and having a great time meeting every different class of students, each as eager to learn and have fun playing games as the last. We became experts at the "Banana Dance" just like many other volunteers before us ;o) and we just learned how to order all of the food that we loved so much. No, a month was not nearly long enough and I am already envisioning our next trip to Thailand, which will hopefully be soon.

Our trip was something that we will never forget and something that I wish I had done much sooner. Ae's family took excellent care of us during our time there and just seeing their picture brings back memories for me of how they took us into their home and treated us like dear friends. Our host teacher at Phakdee, Ao, was the same way too. She was always there for us and always made sure that we were comfortable and well fed! And it wasn't only her that took care of us, if we had questions or needed help we felt like everyone was there to help us. We would ask questions of all of the teachers and students too! We weren't strangers visiting their school, we were part of their family. They showed us a side of Thailand that we would otherwise never have known, a side of Thailand that we came to love. To this day I miss the students' smiling faces every morning, miss the questions/games/karaoke between classes, miss playing basketball and ping-pong with them every evening, miss eating and joking with our friends. I miss Thailand. I hope that everyone that we encountered knows what an impact that they have had on us (Korp kun krap!) and I hope that everone who goes to Thailand gets as much out of the experience as we did. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me at any time. I did keep a journal of all of my experiences and hope to have that posted online sometime soon. Michael and Ae, thank you for all that you do to make trips like ours possible.

Chris Borda
chrisborda@gmail.com