I am overwhelmed by the amount of stimulus I have experienced so far. All in one day we have traveled across the globe to my temporary home of Chiang Mai. A dream I have longed for and it is actually happening.
People were envious of me being able to sleep so much, haha. The first plane ride was from Washington, DC to Seou, Korea, which took 13 hours. I slept for 8 of those hours and watched only two movies, haha. If you’re looking for moving recommendations, don’t see Winter’s Tale, but do see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They served meals on the plane, which I could eat half of usually. It was nice to have a pillow, blanket, and little slippers provided, don’t need to ride first class to totally feel special! When I wasn’t sleeping, I listened to my music and thought about what is to come. The past few weeks have been incredibly mentally exhausting, and now I am here with new cultural expectations to learn and a lot of new names to memorize. While on the second flight, it was dark outside. You could see the city lights of countries as we smoothly crossed over. It was a spectacular view. Usually I am looking up at the sky, but I got to look at the ground and see how the world really is a big place. A place full of people who have their routines, schedules, and conversations similar to me. A world of incredible difference, but of the same common humanity.
We landed in Chiang Mai, Thailand after Korea and I could instantly feel the temperature and the humidity change. It is definitely hot and sticky here! The people who came to greet us were very sweet and we rode over to the schools compound. We share a compound with the Bi-Vocational school here. Us girls are on the fourth floor, so I expect some beefy calves to come out of this trip, haha. All the luggage made it except for one of the girl’s guitar, which should be shipped over by tomorrow. You certainly have to be in good shape to be a constant traveler. I think we walked at least 7 miles just in the airports alone. I am ready for real Thai food here! Airplane food was not the kindest to my stomach, nor are most places accommodating to dietary restrictions. It is frustrating at times, but I am trying to be clear about what I can and cannot eat. I unfortunately cannot take risks with food.
My living situation is great. I share a big room with three other girls and have a whole bunk bed to myself which is right by the window. The comforter definitely has the pusheen cat all over it, haha. I woke up to a gorgeous view of rice fields and the surrounding countryside. It certainly is warm during the day, but there are cool evenings and cool mornings. Today we have church with some of the Lahu people and lunch in the city. I had coffee and granola with coconut milk for breakfast. The fruit here is soooo delicious, and the coconut milk is incredibly good. I think the food situation here will honestly be better for me.
All six of us who are in the program are here now and all rested. I woke up at 7am here and was wide awake, but did not really roll out of bed until 8am. I am nervous about making cultural mistakes, but I am ready to learn. This is my adventure, so I hope to make it a good one.