I officially arrived home from my trip to Thailand on May 26th 2016.
What an experience it was!
On April 30th 2016 we flew 13 hours from Vancouver to Taipei and then 2 1/2 hours from Taipei to Bangkok. They weren’t kidding when they said it would be hot. The minute you step outside the heat engulfs you like a tidal wave. It’s crazy.
Bangkok is HUGE. It is a weird mixture of the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. The smells are very intense and their is always something going on which is really cool. We also discovered that Thailand is OBSESSED with 7/11; there is literally one on every corner. We spent a few days in Bangkok doing training, an Amazing Race, and information sessions before each team headed their separate ways. My team’s first stop was a three hour drive away in the province of Rayong where we would be volunteering at a pastors camp.
The hotel we were staying at was right along the beach and the view was BEAUTIFUL! The sand was white and the water was warm (almost too warm haha). However, it was nothing like we expected. The hotel was interesting, and for me, the food was definitely a challenge. Still, despite some unexpected challenge we laughed it off and had a great time spending time with the pastors and their families playing games and running a VBS program for the kids where we taught on John 10:10. After three days in Rayong we drove back to Bangkok where we got on a 15 hour bus ride to Hat Yai, where we would be for the next 2 1/2 weeks. It was one interesting bus ride haha.
From the moment we arrived in Hat Yai I knew I was going to like it. It is the perfect mixture of city and country and is so rich in culture. Our first day we did some sightseeing and checked out a mosque and a few Buddhist temples. One of them was on top of a hill with a giant gold Buddha statue overlooking the whole city. Throughout our time in Hat Yai we checked out 2 Thai churches, did 3 ESL summer camps, and participated in a leadership camp at Prince of Songkla University. I loved teaching ESL! The camps were so fun and getting to know the kids was really cool. The language barrier turned out to be not such a big deal. We were also lucky enough to become new friends with our translators as well as the students from the leadership camp. They are INCREDIBLE and I am so thankful for the new friendships we have formed! Leaving Hat Yai was very sad. It really did start to feel like home and now sitting in my room back in Canada I wish I could be back there.
After we bussed back to Bangkok to meet up with the other teams we spend a day of relaxing at the beach and elephant riding which was SUPER fun! Then it was time to head back to Canada. The flights were rough on the way home, but stepping back into Canada was like a breath of fresh air… literally. We spent a day of debriefing back at the college before heading out separate ways.
This year has been an amazing journey and it really is sad to leave it all behind me. I will treasure the friendships and memories made forever. Thank you to all that have made it possible. Each one of you has had a part to play, whether big or small.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh
Click here to see the video I made of the trip through my eyes! It isn’t the best quality but it’s just a little glimpse of what the trip looked like.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6