Adventures in Thailand - the list

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Shine by Vienna Teng.

Thailand is an amazing, wonderful place. It was so incredible to have the chance to have my eyes opened in so many ways. Not only in culture and climate, but also how blessed I am. Granted, on first glance it doesn't seem like I have much. Jobless, having no luck finding a job, in the midst of a slew of personal situations. But I am here in America (and that has never struck me so profoundly as when I left this place to come back and realize how blessed we are), and I am able to be here, writing this to you. That is something amazing in and of itself.

So to share with you some of my experiences of my most amazing adventure there, I thought I'd kick this off with an "interesting list" post. :)

-We were lucky enough to have running water where we were staying, but even that came with a catch. The waste processing plants in Thailand are not able to deal with paper products of any kind. That includes toilet paper. So instead of the toilet, we had to put it in the waste basket. That took some getting used to. :) But at the orphanage, where I spent most of my time, they had no running water for the bathrooms, and you had to use a bucket filled with water next to the toilet to "flush." That was a humbling experience.

-It is humid there. Like, I would be surprised if it ever dipped below 65 degrees at the coldest part of night. Living in a desert, I never quite got used to that. If I had stayed at my internship at the Smithsonian through the summer, I might have been a little more prepared.

-I also lost most of my appetite while over there. I think a lot of it had to do with the heat and humidity. Rice became my best friend ever. I love rice. ^_^

-I had a coconut about as fresh as you can possibly have it. A beautiful woman from the jungle invited us to her home. She had a coconut tree growing right next to her house (not a far stretch in the middle of the jungle, and we were, literally, in the middle of the jungle). She pulls out this twenty foot stick with a hook on it and pulled us down a coconut. A butcher knife and four strokes later (she was amazing) we were drinking the freshest coconut milk you can have. We also scraped out the inside and sprinkled it with a very rough sugar. It was slimy, but very good (and you so know, coconuts are ripe green, not brown like we get them).

-I rode an elephant. A real live elephant. On it's neck. It. Was. Awesome.

-I saw a spindly black and neon green spider larger than my face. That was not awesome.

-The place we were staying was next to the ocean, perhaps my favorite place to be in the world. That was very awesome. It made me so happy to hear it every time we came "home," every time we ate, and basically every time we were outside.

-A lot of my friends jumped off a waterfall in a National Park, along with the kids in the orphanage. I was the happy photographer. ^_^

-I grew to have a greater appreciation for seafood while over there. For anyone who knows me, that is huge. I may actually even try and seek it out more now.

-Coconut milk soup is fantastic. Especially with chicken and wild herbs.

-Thai people do love their karaoke. And we grew to love it too. And some of us even became tolerable to listen to, considering the language barrier ;) (I have video of it too. I'm hoping I can upload some up here).

-I had an amazing time serving the people of Thailand. It is so cool to be WriterGirl, but every once in a while, it is even cooler to be a real hero in someone's life. That was the best part, by far.


PJ Hoover said...

Love your post! It is just such a nice thing to read! I'm so happy you were able to go.

Unknown said...

PS: You are my hero.

Heather Zundel said...

PJ - Thank you so much. You are so kind. I am so happy I had the chance. It was absolutely amazing and so eye opening.

Beth - I don't know what to say. You're going to make me blush. Thank you Beth.

Anonymous said...

Would you mind sharing what humanitarian group you traveled with? I'm currently looking for a reputable company to go to Thailand.

Many Thanks, Crystal