Tuesday, August 30, 2011

posts still in progress... {+ I FOLLOW RIVERS by LYKKE LI}

so remember how i said that i would catch up on some posts? yeah well i've been a bit busy. i can't wait to show all of you pictures of my trip to burma {and my last days in thailand} so once school settles down and i find some more time, i will share! i mean i haven't even finished unpacking or started decorating my new room yet...it looks so sad at the moment.
here is a sneak peak:
this should be a monk since he is wearing orange but i swear it looks like a woman...but either way when i took the picture he/she got really embarrassed and started laughing, it was really sweet.  
this little boy was so cute. and i will tell you more about what is on his face in a later post. 

and in the meantime listen to my lastest obsession:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

.:posts in progress:.

sorry i haven't blogged in a while...i have been busy. and on top of that i have been editing and going through a million pictures lately and i am still not done. i am hoping to make up for the past couple of weeks today and maybe i will get some posts up by tonight...if i'm lucky. but for a sneak peak these are some of the things i have done in the meantime: went shopping at night markets, said goodbye to a lot of people, rode ostriches, went to a temple, helped give water pipes to a village in need, and some things not worth mentioning without pictures/videos. and tomorrow i am going to Myanmar (Burma). soooo stay tuned. OH AND BY THE WAY: my sister audrey and her husband dan just had a baby girl and her name is Ginny :) and i actually guessed when she would be born right to the day. man i'm good. 
Virginia Mae Crossen, Audg, Dan.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

DONATE to DEPDC and Help Stop Human Trafficking

Our Thailand team has created a video to show what we are doing at DEPDC- an organization that is working with at risk children to help prevent human trafficking. We teach english to the children shown in the video and they are desperately in need of funds. Please watch this video and donate (http://help-international.org/donate-now)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PHUKET {with Ash}

last week i was sick with the flu but i got better just in time for a weekend to trip to Phuket, an island in the south of thailand {and is the number one destination followed by Ko Phi Phi, where we went as well}. my sister ashley and her husband clint live in guilin, china right now and they are teaching english. they have been there almost two years and i haven't seen her in all that time {my brother patrick is also living in china and has been there around 2 and a half years i think, but he wasn't able to visit thailand at the moment}. ash and clint were in malaysia before coming to thailand and then they flew over to phuket {the "h" is silent} to meet me. 

i am lucky i got there at all. friday morning i was teaching the orphanage kids and then i took a bus back to chiang rai and got to the bus station around 4ish {i had brought my bag with me and was even early since i didnt technically need to leave till around 5}. but of course all the buses were booked full until 7pm. i was freaking out. i was going to get to chiang mai late, miss my flight, and would have no way of contacting ashley to let her know because i had no phone and her phone was chinese. so i called hudson, one of my country directors, and he drove over on his scooter to help try and figure it out. we drove over to the other bus station and they didnt have anything until 7:15 either. renting a minibus would've cost too much as well. so hudson was willing to drive me all the way to chiang mai on a scooter in the rain. chiang mai is 3 hours away and the roads that go through the hills are super curvy. hudson is a saint. but luckily we didn't have to resort to that because they found a friend who had a truck we could use. so we picked up dave, my other country director, to keep hudson company on the way back and we drove to the airport in chiang mai. hudson booked it and we made it in time for my flight to phuket. hudson, if you are reading this, you are the best man on the earth and i thank you. 
this little guy was playing with us while we waited at the orphanage for a ride. he has a hole in his heart and would get tired quickly and have to sit down. 

i got to phuket around 1am and met them, took a taxi to our hotel, and got subway on the way there. {i love you subway}. we didn't end up going to bed til like 4:30ish so we slept in the next morning. the hotel was perfect. we swam at the private beach, looked at all the crabs on the rocks, read our books, and then rinsed off in the pool. around 3 in the afternoon we went into the nearest town called patong. i had been warned about this place and they were right. so trashy {full of ladyboys and bars}. but at least we got to go to the mall and get some american food. later that night we swam in the pool again. i forgot how much i missed the water.

view from our balcony 

clint searching for crabs

the next day we went on a tour to an island right next to phuket called Ko Phi Phi. phi phi is gorgeous and they film lots movies there {like James Bond and The Beach}. however our tour was kind of a bust because it didn't do all the things it was supposed to and the beach had lots of trash. oh well. live and learn. phuket is the land of scams and overpricing so i wasn't surprised. but at least we got to go snorkeling and see some beautiful scenery. i am also tan and sunburnt. {these pics are all out of order but whatever i am not fixing it. and there are more pics but ashley has them, so if there are any good ones i'll post them later}. 

the next morning i woke up around 4:30am to accompany them to airport since it would be cheaper than me going separately later. i sat in the airport for like 2 or more hours. then when i got back into chiang mai i took a taxi to the bus station and waited in a longggg line to get a ticket back to chiang rai. i got to the bus station at 1pm and didn't leave until 4:30. ughhh story of my life. i hate buses, trains, and planes. then the bus is ghetto and the air conditioning is barely working and the seats are way squished {someone even through up}. and  to top it all off everytime we would go up a hill the bus would slow to a stop and make funny noises...so yes it took forever to get home. i finally got into the chiang rai bus station at like 8pm and then took a tuk tuk home but the driver got lost like three times. i am just glad to be home.

today {tues} we went to the hospital and one of the ladies read our palms. it was actually pretty cool and accurate for all of us. now this is going to bug me. one of the things was dead on and i can't figure out how they can do that! hm. until next time!

also i have a favor to ask of anyone reading this:

This summer our HELP International Team has been working with the Akha hill tribes of Northern Thailand. The Akha hill tribes have a rich and distinct culture. However, the Akha people are among the most impoverished groups in all of Thailand. In many cases, the Akha live in primitive villages that do not have essential things that we take for granted.

Foremost of these things, some Akha villages do not have running water. An Akha hill tribe that stands in need of running water has approached our team and asked if we could help them to acquire the pipes necessary to run fresh water to their village. The distance between their village and water is around one kilometer. The village consists of 500 people. We have a tremendous opportunity to change the lives of these villagers in a very meaningful way. We estimate the cost of the pipes needed for this project will be $1,820. A single contribution can make a world of difference. 

Please make a donation directly through HELP International’s website: http://help-international.org/donate-now

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Orphanage, Sky Lanterns, Chiang Mai, & TIGERS.

so it's been a long time since my last post. sorry about that. but if you are friends with me on facebook i post pictures there quite regularly that you can check out. {i am going to spare some of the details because the post would be too long if i didn't}. here we go. 

on monday we took a 2 and a half hour trip up to an orphanage in Mae Sai to check it out and what thery're needs were. the location is beautiful and they have around 80 kids. in a week or so we are going to go back and help them with square foot gardens, and in the meantime we have been teaching around 15 of the kids english.

Dave teaching about square foot gardens

one of the girls' rooms

wall of rules

then on one of the nights we lit thai sky laterns (like the ones from the movie tangled) and made wishes. they are so beautiful, i wish i had been here for the festival where they light thousands of them.

thats me...
me again 
and again.

we taught at the orphanage until wednesday and on one of the days we bought a fruit called Durian. It is the King of fruits in Thailand and for most people it tastes awful enough that they can't swallow it the first time without gagging. I ate two bites without difficulty and swallowed them both {to me it tasted like rotten deviled eggs}. But apparently ours didn't have as much flavor as usual and according to Todd when they do they taste like: "eating rotten onions and sucking on a dirty man's big toe while smelling hot sick anus."

friday me, manasa, and lauren got massages and ate italian food for dinner. so good. 

saturday we made a 3 hour trip to a bigger city south of us called Chiang Mai. We were going down for a soccer game but it got moved till sunday so we went to the one of the Chiang Mai temples, played with tigers, and went to the night bazaar to shop for souvenirs. 

yeah, they are cute until they ask you for money if you take their picture, but not to worry all i did was zoom in to get them. ha. two can play that game. 

amy, me, manasa, lauren, aubrey, and courtney.
view of the city of Chiang Mai
oh hey look mom, i found you! heh. heh.

getting blessed by a monk again.
Carving a giant candle of wax.

so tigers was a amazing. we picked the large&smallest tiger bundle and i do not regret spending the money for it. i mean when will i ever do this again? go big or go home. we were all actually pretty nervous...i didn't think i would be but those things {there were 2} are huge and have even huger teeth. but i love cats so this was like a big Comet {my wonderful orange cat} except lazier {if that is even possible}. at one point the tiger started to push amy toward the electric wires with its back feet. and then we played with the baby tigers. adorable. if i wasn't for the rights of wild animals i would definitely want one. 

mitch, me, lauren, and amy. 

mitch covering up his "critical area" so the baby tigers don't get it. hahaha best thing ever.

our tiger guide made us pretend to be asleep with them

and to kiss them firmly as he said "FIRMER! FIRMER!" haha so great.
and on sunday we stayed after for a baptism. she was so cute and so happy. 
excuse my side glance. there were a lot of cameras okay.
the next week i went to teach the orphanage kids mon-wed because i am the project lead. they are some of the best kids ever and really smart too. we get anywhere from 10-15 kids and the ages are from 11-18. some of the boys are such studs too {especially Moko, Atalay, Phet, & Paulo}. we teach them vocab, play games, sing songs, and afterwards hangout with them for few minutes. 
Atalay. so cute.
Moko. {doesn't he look like Rufio from the movie Hook?}

Paulo is such a hard worker. 
playing simon says.
we made paper airplanes after class. 
Phet. all around stud, scholar, and a bit of a show-of.
Booba, Meeyuh, Phet, Kalagna. 
Meeyuh, Manasa, Atalay, Paul, Moko, Yapa, Me, Wayya, Phet, Kalagna, Paulo. 
playing games on Paul's phone. 
wayya and atalay. 
Atalay, Yapa, & Moko.
me and the boys.
Kalagna, Paulo, Wayya, Atalay, Yapa, Moko, and Phet. 
Booba and Meeyuh. 
Lauren, Paul, Manasa, and Me with the whole class.
moko and paul arm wrestling. i beat all the boys except moko. that kid is strong.
on the way to the bus station in a truck.
paul taking a picture of us with some of the boys.
in Thailand the kids think it is cool to pose like this.

so i was supposed to go to the orphanage again today to teach but it was cancelled for a meeting, which is perfect because i am sick. i think i have some form of the flu. and that is why i have had time to blog. even though i got to sleep in til 2pm i would rather not be sick...

{the second group of orphanage pictures were taken by Manasa. there are more that lauren took, so once i get them from her i will probably post a few}.

and as i am in the internet cafe thai school kids flood the computers to play shooting video games. even boys in thailand are the same.