I stepped inside and felt the coolness of the air conditioning as I looked up to see a grand display before me. As we walked forward, five floors opened up before our eyes. The Escalators were grand staircases guiding the way up to thousands of stores. We stopped and watched a Circus performance for a bit, which was a rather odd experience. At one point a man had crawled completely inside a big balloon and rocked out to American music…it was strange. I noticed that the prices were the same as American prices. Although it seemed more ridiculous labeled in Baht. One thing at H&M was 3000 Baht. When you put it like that, it does not seem worth buying. We wandered up to the fifth floor where there is a movie theater. I snuck in some bubble tea and we watched November Man. If you are looking for a movie review, I would not suggest watching this movie, haha. It has a lot of unnecessary content and a rather shallow plot line! After laughing about the ridiculousness of the movie we walked back outside to Chiang Mai. The mall, called Central Festival, felt like such a different place that I was confused when I exited. Inside the mall the atmosphere was all too similar to an American mall, so for a moment I was disoriented in where I was. The mall seemed a strange place in comparison to the city of Chiang Mai. The mall is a display of couples, families, and individuals who live in the developed world. I did notice that the stores have a lot more spacing in between aisles, which seems different than American malls. I am not sure if that is a marketing tactic or not. After the mall we waited for the song tou and rode back home.
The class material has been difficult to handle. It leaves a sense of hopelessness. We watched a documentary about the Hmong people in Laos. The Hmong people were recruited by the United States CIA during the Vietnam War. They helped with the inside access so the US could have an advantage. Hmong people also helped fight with the US. After the US signed a peace treaty they completely pulled out of Laos. The Hmong people have been hunted and killed by the government since for their involvement in helping the United States. For over thirty years they have been chased and killed. The children and grandchildren are still suffering the effects because of their fathers and grandfathers involvement. The government seeks to kill all of the Hmong. The Hmong continuously have to move deep into the jungle and live off of roots and leaves. The documentary was a firsthand look of the atrocities they are experiencing. Most of the world has not even heard of the Hmong, nor their struggle. The UN and US offer no help in the matter. Hmong leaders seek justice and just want peace for their people. They just want to live normal lives. One lady was interviewed who was in a refugee camp. As tears streamed down her face she asked why people do this to her people. The unspeakable inhumanity. I had trouble containing my emotions at the end of class. These people do not deserve this kind of treatment. The world turns a blind eye.
I am confused why I have been blessed with good circumstance. I do not have to fight for my life every day or need to continually move. I am frustrated almost and feel helpless in trying to help. I received an e-mail in the morning from my aunt that helped me find peace amongst the hopelessness. She reminded me that it makes a difference even if I help just one person. Because helping one person can create a ripple effect. I may not be able to help an entire country, or even a village, but I can do the best I can with what I have been given. I have to be at peace with doing the best I can in where I am at. Something I think about often is the quote that was on my grandparent’s fridge. Part of the quote said along the lines of “God give me the grace to accept the things I cannot change”. The phrase often gives me peace when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated that I cannot help more people than I am capable of. I cannot change a culture to accept and love their people, but I can at least help one person.
Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. I love hearing your responses and providing encouragement!