Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sawasdee Ka Thailand

My last post about my experience with HELP International in Thailand. About time.

The last day there were only a couple of us left and we packed, cleaned up the house, and I gave away almost all of the clothes I brought. Gotta make room for all those souvenirs (especially the 66 movies I bought). I got my last meal at the Chicken Hut, makes me hungry thinking about it. We said bye to Maple at the Hospital and then me and Dave had the first flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok together and from there it was a longggg trip back to America heading west instead of east. It's cheaper to book round-trip tickets and since I had come from London, I was heading home through London. Chiang Rai to Bangkok, to Mumbai, to London, to Detroit, to Salt Lake. 6 airports, 5 layovers, 5 flights, and no sleep. At the time I calculated about 27 hours in the air and 17 hours of layover I think. But mostly I don't even want to think about it or airports for a very very long time. I kept my self sane by watching movies on my laptop, listening to endless amounts of music, and my first meal was a delicious cheeseburger from Burger King. When I got to Detroit the customs line was so long that I almost missed my connecting flight by a couple of minutes. Dodged a bullet on that one. When I finally made it back to the United States you could not have found a happier person. I missed America so much after being gone for four months in 9 different countries. Goodness I have never appreciated the United States more in my life. And the next day I got Mexican food. glorious glorious mexican food, oh how i missed it.

Looking back I am glad I went to Thailand. I fell in love with the country and the people, I learned a lot about myself, and experience many new things. People always want to hear about how I rode elephants and ostriches, how I played with tigers, or if the food was good, and although those things were amazing, but what I miss about Thailand are the children I got to teach at the orphanage and the girls I got to meet at the Recovery School. I spent a very short amount of time with them but I will always remember those experiences and I just hope that they have the future I know they deserve. I can still hear their laughs and see their smiles. And that is what's important, people, not souvenirs and not getting to brag about the cool things I did.

I know we could've done a lot more to benefit the people of northern Thailand. We weren't as efficient as we could've been and because of this I might not ever volunteer with them again but you never know. I do want to go to Africa next summer so stay tuned. And I know some of you are interested in volunteering with HELP International so if you have any questions please just message or email me and I will tell you all I can to help and give you my opinions. But in the meantime here is their website:

here are some of my favorite pictures/experiences. (and some are from my day trip to burma of course) it's nice to have them all in one spot for once. 


Steve and Donna said...

You got alot of special pictures

Jenn said...

Andrea, These pictures are amazing! I just kept looking at each one for all the details. You are a talented photographer!