As experimenters in the Thailand program, we have faced a couple challenges. A few of our challenges consist of social anxiety with meeting new people, practicing Thai language with understanding by ordering food & other things, and especially getting through 16 hour days doing many different things with only 6 hours of sleep.
Thailand is home to some of the most benevolent people. Everyone, whether they work at a seven eleven or a local street market, has a story. On the first day shopping at a market everyone seemed to be excited to talk and even offered extra food when buying. For example, a group member named Abby, was able to meet various merchants when doing a scavenger hunt for different items. Along the way she met so many people eager to help with her Thai. One lady selling crepes was studying for International Relations and was so joyful to have met an English speaking person who was trying to adapt to her culture. She had a smile on her face and was extremely sweet to everyone she met. Rosely, another group member, had fun meeting and interacting with kids who roamed the streets. They were just as excited as venders to meet foreigners. Since another group member, Shalom, has been to Thailand, she has experienced nothing but kindness. The Thai people have made her feel like she belongs. The other day, as she was going down the stairs of a temple, a shopkeeper gave her discounts on her items and was even enthusiastic to teach her new Thai words. Overall our experience with the Thai people had been delightful!
Sa Wat Dee!
Our group is beyond excited to be experiencing the culture and love that Thailand has to offer. We showcase diversity, coming from 8 different states, ranging in years of 15 to 17, and exemplifying all different backgrounds and stories. We are extroverts, We are introverts; we are athletes; we are performers; but most importantly, we are family. We all bring something different to the table, but one thing we all share is an interest and appreciation of different cultures, beliefs, and people.
By: Wren Hoertdoerfer, Tori Silverman, Juju Jutte, and Ryan Burton
Thailand is culturally different from America, but it is extremely beneficial for our learning. Being fully immersed in a culture so focused on ancient practices is a life changing experience. From riding in Sung Taos to visiting temples, or speaking the language, eating the khao soi soup, you are experiencing the life of a Thai individual, and this vast stray from our comfort zone is what allows us to grow as students and as humans.