Soap and Laughter

There is a rush that fills my soul when learning a new task. Tasks that piece together the inner workings of a bigger picture. The intricate way of weaving thread to the simple way of making soap. We finished the making of the soap by combining the steeped lemongrass and ginger in oil and lye. Lye can be incredibly dangerous so we had to wear gloves and goggles to not get burned. The mixture starts to solidify and then is poured into the molds. I have not worked much with chemicals because I never have had any interest in mixing chemicals. I have found a newfound interest in making soap after our batch turned out smelling good and hardened quickly! So get ready family to start a new soap making business, haha. It is surprisingly easy to make and does not cost that much.

Saturday was a peaceful day of making soap and I thoroughly enjoyed doing homemaker projects. On Sunday we visited an International Church and met couples who have lived in Chiang Mai for many years. Everyone speaks highly of Chiang Mai. One lady asked of us if we have been around elephants yet. We replied no and she laughed and said that Chiang Mai is all about the food and snuggling elephants! Later in the semester we have the opportunity to ride elephants, so I look forward to that. After church we went to the market with our new friend from Bhutan who is studying here. She is a kindred spirit who laughs as loud and as much as I do! I made quite the statement by wearing a scarf on my head, a Burmese skirt, and a tank top. Having your head covered, but your shoulders bare is rather strange and culturally confusing. I did not pay much mind to my outfit until I got several odd looks from tourists. I furthered the entertainment by picking up a Thai instrument that was for sale and trying to learn how to play it from one of the guys in the band. Tourists gave strange looks and laughed, and I was quite the entertainment for the band! I just laughed and continued trying to figure how on earth he could make the instrument sound good. We now have the instrument here at the GoED house so I can practice! Riding back home I was bright eyed and full of life with the peace of still having joyful experiences in my dream place.

Monday in class we discussed Buddhism and Christianity in the morning, then God’s justice in the afternoon. Both subjects I have not fully wrapped my brain around. During lunches we have been having deep conversations about religion and society. We each are trying to construct our world with newfound information and newly presented ideas.

Today was a slower day, where I mostly napped with one of the cats tucked into me. Other students worked on their essays, and because of my blog I was able to transfer most of the information over and use it for my essays. For some, writing does not come easy. I am not sure why writing comes easy, but it has since I was a kid. From writing festivals and encouraging teachers I am able to still write today. Even beyond those who tried to kill my love for writing out of me. I am glad to have the outlet of writing and be able to express my experience to those reading my blog.

Due to the weather fluctuating my body has felt out of whack again. My feet were swollen and it did not feel good! Adele was sweet enough to heat up water for me to soak my feet and I have had them elevated most of the day. Of all problems to be a bother here, my feet decided to take a turn. I have fall apart days, but I am able to take the time to care of each issue that comes at me. I take things a day at a time and I cannot always predict if some food might be detrimental or my circulation decides to be all strange. I suppose it is a piece of life that I am still learning to accept. I have health problems and my body never seems on my side, but I am hopeful that one day I will be able to wake up and experience no pain. My struggles are small in comparison to those who fight greater health battles, but my fraction of experience helps me be more understanding.

Tomorrow we have final presentations for our History, Society, and Religion of the Mekong Region. I am speaking about my experience during the Golden Triangle Trip and how it has shifted my perspective through the opportunity of experiential learning. The storms have been fascinating and LOUD, but it is amazing to watch the sky light up in a flash of purple and hear the thunder roll as if it is rolling right through you. It is frightening and beautiful all at once.

I am praying for those back home who are experiencing hardship and praying for those here who are living in hardship. Take courage and be bold even in the face of the unknown.

Blessings,

Bethany Jane

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Lion Kitty
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Lightning. This picture was not taken in the day time, it was taken as lightning flashed across the sky. For a second it was bright as day!
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Thunder and lightning that comes in spurts with the pouring down rain.

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