The moment of perspective came as we hiked up to level 10 of Mae Su Waterfalls. I never realized how many experiences in the past have led me to where I am today. Hiking up to the falls was steep, with rough terrain, but it came to mind the adventures, the training, and the unexpected moments that have given me the opportunity to become stronger. We were surrounded by the Thailand scenery, caught in a haze of green and ancient species. Amongst the greenery, I felt oddly at home. The weather was partly cloudy and 80 degrees, and the falls provided a gentle mist. I have seen quite a few waterfalls, but the landscape is so different here. The giant rocks and twisted knots for trees almost seem unreal. I have seen pictures, but it is so different in real life. We swam underneath a section of the waterfalls and waded around in the water.
Before the waterfalls, we toured the Queen’s Botanical Garden. It was beautiful with plants that I have never seen before. I naturally went on a picture taking frenzy with all the vibrance of colors that surrounded me. The plants are large and of different texture. I took more pictures than necessary, but I was fascinated by the plants. To my bio major friends, you would of loved this garden!
After the garden and hiking around the waterfalls, we visited a coffee shop down the road which has free wifi, but you have to pay to charge your computer. Very different than in the States! It is a beautiful coffee shop, and we plan to visit to do homework and to learn more of the Thai language. I have been learning some Thai and Lahu phrases, which have very different vowel sounds. Even at the waterfalls to day the signs were in Thai and in English. How wild is it that I am thousands of miles away from home, yet the signs are in my home language. How wild is that.
We had dinner in the Go-ED house as a group and learned more Thai names for food. The word for rice sounds like cow, haha. And the word for cat is meow! I am still taking in a lot of information and my brain has not had time to slow down to really process it all. Riding in the sung tou is one of my favorite perspective times of the day. I get to pass by the rich and the poor in the surrounding area and see how people live out their lives. Living amongst advancing technology, sustainability, and communication. Surrounded my advertisements, shops, and vehicles. It is fascinating. There is so much happening around me and I am trying to take it all in.
Tomorrow is our first day of class! We ride the sung tou to Payap University for our first class of the semester. I do not know what my heart or mind will have to endure this semester, but I pray it keeps my soul alive, learning, and proactive in what I can do with what I am learning.
I love you all and thank you for following along with me as I experience this new journey!
P.S. (Selfies for Mom so it is proof I am actually here, haha)