Saturday, September 3, 2011

THAILAND: volunteer work, markets, and film cameras

here we go. good thing i wrote all this a while ago and saved it because otherwise i would've forgotten all of it.

Alright since my last big post it’s been weeks and weeks, so I have done a lot and have probably forgotten a lot of it too...this is what I get for putting it off. 

One of my first days back we went over to the hospital to talk to a few people, one of them being our friend Maple. We hang out, eat, and play badminton with her and her husband a lot. And that day we had her read four of our palms. And it was surprisingly accurate. For all of us. She told us about ourselves- our past, our present, and our future. She focused on relationships, personalities, our finances, and careers. I don’t believe in this kind of stuff normally but this wasn’t someone pretending to read the future, it was her looking at our hands, deciphering our complexities. I guess it could make sense...our emotions show on our bodies and our skin is constantly changing. But it still blows my mind and every time I think about it, and it bothers me because I still don’t understand how she could do that from just reading a book. Seriously, there was only one thing she said to me that I think might be a little bit off, but I guess time will tell. 

The rest of the week I did the usual stuff. Thursday at Recovery School was the best. We taught them some english, and then for the creativity activity we had them act out fairy tales they had made up. The group of girls I was with had a crazy story. I was the man and I went out hunting and saw two girls bathing in the woods and they knocked me out, took me home, and drugged me up. I am pretty sure that while I was at their home they married me off to one of the girls and when I tried to leave I found that there was a golden herb in my bag and for some reason I had to go back to them. Weird stuff but so fun. Then since they had some of the teachers there from the school in Burma, we got to paint clay geckos and crickets, make flowers out of leaves, and then we ate a good lunch. 

Friday was a holiday- mother’s day. Here mother’s day and father’s day are on the king and queen’s birthday...they love the king here. Sometimes there will be even up to 7 pictures of the king in one room. Thais have a lot of respect for their country. I don’t know what will happen when the king dies...they will have to change their money, their holidays, and all their decorations. During the day we went to get ice cream at Swenson’s with Maple and her husband Michael. After that we went and got pedicures and then that night me and Paul walked around the Night Bazaar afterwards. 
The Earthquake. 8 delicious scoops of ice cream, most of which included some form of chocolate. Easily destroyed in under 10 minutes. And if I needed a defense, which I don't, I would inform you that I hadn't eaten like anything all day.
Saturday we were supposed to go to the waterfall and do some other things but that didn’t work out unfortunately. But that night I broke out my toy film cameras. finally. I brought them with me when I first left the country so I could take pictures with them in all the places I was visiting. But like a failure I didn’t use them at all when I was in Europe. There really is no excuse for this. I just never got around to it and I regret that. Because where else is more perfect to use a Holga and Mini Diana, then in Europe?? Especially France and Italy? Yeah, nowhere. But better late never I guess. So I gave my Holga to Paul to use and I took my Mini Diana, and we headed to the Walking Street (market) to take pictures and by souvenirs. {Funny Story...actually more like tragic story that I hope will be funny one day. So when i finished the roll of film in the Holga I realized when I opened it that there actually wasn't film in it and we {mostly paul} had been taking blank pictures all that time without realizing it. I went through a bit of denial and self-hate for a while but at least we still have the pictures from my Mini Diana}.

Okay, Walking Street, so cool. It is like the other markets except better, with more stuff, pretty lights hanging over your head, and way more entertainment. It only happens on Saturday and it was my first time going. Such a great place for pictures. I hope they all turn out well though. I will develop the film when I get home and then scan them onto my computer and post them. I seriously can’t wait. {okay i wrote all this a while ago and i actually do have the pictures developed so hear they are in combination with the text that i am too lazy to correct so that it s accurate}. And at Walking Street there is this place behind on of the stages where there is a mini skatepark, so great. But then it started pouring and we got soaking wet. But I love rain so we just bought a huge umbrella and walked home. 

alright here are some pictures i took with the mini diana toy film camera i have. some of these are blurry but that's because it was at night and the film speed was only 400. 
thai scooter gang haha 
lantern tree
group of dancers with lights exposed over the top.
i wish this wasn't so blurry but that is the skate park area.  
Sunday at church was the same as usual. And that night me and Paul took the cameras out again and went down to Happy Street to take pictures. There was a breakdancing competition...which consisted of kids trying to dance to this strange jazzy music. Then we came across these white Hippies that had a band playing while they made mexican food. Made my day. They played Jack Johnson and Bob Marley and I ate their version of homemade tortilla chips with beans and salsa. And it was pretty good too. Oh how I miss real Mexican food. Four months is too long. 
hippie making mexican food. mmhm. 

double exposure. 
double exposure of an owl backpack. 
On Monday me, Krystal, and Paul went to the orphanage to teach but we ended up planting rice instead. It is actually kinda fun especially when all the kids are singing and messing around. And there were two of the smallest kittens I have ever seen in my life that they were taking care of. One of them was Phet’s and the other was Moko’s. These kids always have some sort of animal around. One day we were teaching a lesson and we were talking about birds and Atalay brings in a pot and pulls a bird out of it. They plant rice so fast though. 
road to the orphanage
view out of the song tao 
rice fields
krystal and paul walking up to the other part of the orphanage 
close-up of the rice field 
me and paulo. since paul took this picture i didn't realize the film hadn't been advanced yet when i went to take the next picture. so it has an exposure of paul holding a kitten over the top haha.  
phet and wayya forcing the mom to feed her kittens haha. 
wayya, meeyuh, and booba stepping on stones to avoid the water.  
paul took this one. i think it's been exposed at least three times. 
ok i am obsessed with this photo, i think it is my favorite one out of all the film i just got developed. so props to Paul Van Bloem for taking it.
the ladies out in the rice field. also take by paul. 
all of us working out in the rice fields. krystal and then me are over on the far left. 
Tuesday I stayed to plan the skit with Paul that we as a group were supposed to perform at the Recovery School since they were just planting rice again at the orphanage and we wouldn’t be teaching. We ate at Le Petit Cafe and I had a chocolate milkshake and a really good tuna melt. I’m gonna miss that place and their overly priced but delicious food. Plus I think I am more creative in that kind of setting. We brainstormed, wrote a short little narrative, and then went searching for materials to make the puppets. took a while to figure out what we wanted to do {combined with a lot running around, not literally, for no reason} but we ended up making paper puppets. The story was a parallel to real life using pandas for the girls and brown bears for us volunteers. Think Despicable Me at the end when he tells the story about the kittens. 

Wednesday, me and Paul went up to the Recovery School early to visit them because it was his last day in Thailand and they wanted to say goodbye. Some of the girls said a little something and then we took a few pictures. On the way home I think we got some homemade ice cream at the ukelele place. And the rest of the day? Not sure. Oh well haha. But i do know it involves me going to the internet place after paul got picked up for the airport and then i think i finished working on the puppets that night. Oh yeah and we ate dinner with the "Thai Teachers" to say goodbye. I had never worked on that project but a couple of the volunteers would go to one of the schools and teach the Thai teachers who taught English to their students better English. If that makes any sense to you haha.  
Paul and the girls from Monsaengdao Recovery School
paul playing the guitar at the ice cream place. blurry because he was moving....
this on is blurry looking because it is actually a double exposure but you can't really tell unfortunately.

more new posts to come soon!

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