We just got back from Bangkok, and we had such fun adventures there. A little mishap with our camera means I am currently picture-less for that trip, so I am going to catch up a bit on our past adventures while I gather photos from the students who went with us.
I haven't talked at all about my job here, really. Now that I have an adventure to associate with my job, I am ready to write about it. If you want a recap of why we are here in Thailand, read this post. Even though I've graduated, BYU gave me the opportunity to be a student for the summer and have my own internship. I work for an NGO here that supports and initiates projects with various hill tribes in Northern Thailand. The projects themselves are varied and depend on the needs of each community the organization works with. One of their big focuses is an organic farm. The NGO set up the farm as an example to villagers of how to farm organically.
Hayley and I had the opportunity to go up to the farm and prepare it for a group of volunteers who came to help with some projects (such as building a multi-purpose building and a water retention pond). We went with our two bosses and spent 2 nights there. The farm is about a 10 minute walk from a road, so we had to unload the truck and carry armloads of food, blankets, etc. down the trail, through a cornfield, and across the river up to the farm.
Sound like one of your favorite kids' shows?
Hill, Cornfield, Bamboo Bridge!
We did it, we did it, we did it, YEAH!
Here is a picture of Manop, my boss, and Anna, my other boss, and the gardener trying to fix the water system at the farm. We couldn't help much with this project.
Hayley and I watched from the bamboo hut Manop built the week before. Mostly no one spoke English to us, so it was sometimes difficult to find things to do.
Me or Hayley: What can we help with now?
Manop or Anna: Umm...just rest.
Hayley: Do we need to clean out this hut too?
Me: Ok, Hayley and I can go do that.
Manop: Oh, it's ok. We can do it.
The farm is beautiful. Everything is green. They have 35 different fruit trees, so we had papaya, pineapple, and some new fruits as refreshment while we worked. It was a great trip, and I loved being more involved with what this organization actually does, which was nice after being so involved with the business end this summer.
We made a lot of tiny friends on the trip, though. Here is a fly that followed me for an hour. Also, there is no picture, but I had a lizard in my shirt for four hours. Four hours. Had no idea.
We went on a 3km walk to see all of the tribal communities in the area one night. We stopped at the Karen village. It was beautiful! The Karen people are really good at living with the land, not changing it. So each house was built into the forest, there were very few open spaces without trees, and hardly any "developed" areas. Manop explained that they take care of the land very well. They help preserve the forest from deforestation.
To "rest" when we got back, we did a day-long adventure to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand. It was actually COLD at the summit! Amazing. We stopped at three beautiful waterfalls on the way back. To see photos of that adventure, check out Hayley's blog. I wasn't smart enough to bring my camera.