People say there is no perfection in this life. Today proved that not quite true. After we woke up and had breakfast, we headed to the Duang Prateep Foundation (DPF, our volunteer liaison here) were some elderly community leaders welcomed us and explained what the day would be about. We were divided into three groups, each of us took some bags of rice and towels, and then headed to the houses of disabled elders from the Kloeng Toey community where we started to deliver these bags. The houses (shacks really) were in unbelievably bad condition and were so small that only one or two of us could go in for each delivery. There was some really hard things to see like this elderly man we went to visit who was paralyzed; he couldn’t move or work. He lived alone so he didn’t have any way of getting money. Some times the DPF would give him 100 baht which would feed him for the rest of the week. That was really surprising to us because our dinner last night costed more than 300 baht. The whole time we were walking down the really little streets and we came across this 87-years old lady who was so energetic and funny that we couldn’t help but smile around her. She was just sitting there trying to talk us and seeing us trying to communicate with her and she couldn’t stop laughing and smiling even tough she had only a few teeth in her grinning mouth. That moment was perfect. Later we saw this 3 year old little kid who just stood in front of us and started ‘raaaaaawing’ at us and–when he did–we’d raaaaaaaaw back at him. Another perfect moment. It was just like all the things that were around us didn’t matter at that instant in time. We returned to the DPF again and as soon as we got there one of the elders just grabbed one of us and started dancing to the music. Then we all sat down and started playing this game were we were supposed to stick our finger in the hand of the elder next to us and they had to do the same and then at the count of three we had to take it out. Many of them would just start laughing so hard that they couldn’t even get to three. Beautiful and perfect. It was so beautiful seeing these old, warm smiles in the faces of these folks whom we know have gone through such difficult times and are still able to find such joy in a game so simple.After the game was finished we played another game in which we had to dance around in a circle. When when the music stopped we had to go running, looking for our partner, and then sit. Yet another perfect moment where time dropped away for me. It was amazing looking at these women dancing and then having so much fun running around looking for their kid partners (us). After it we had lunch and asked them a few questions about their lives. They then started singing for us so we decided that we had to show them our ‘ALL THE SINGLE LADIES’ dance which we’d practiced the other day for just such an occasion. We did it and in the middle of it we took some of them to dance with us. Perfect. At first some of them refused, but they soon gave in and started dancing with us and it was so fun that it was like it didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same language or that we were from different social classes. It didn’t even seem to matter, in that moment, that women we saw earlier that morning was paralyzed and had to sit in front of the TV the whole day with a bucket under her open-bottomed chair to catch her ‘necessities’. After saying good bye to our new friends we went to the hotel and then had dinner at a nearby American restaurant so we wouldn’t be too homesick. It was pretty much a normal dinner but there even a few moments then, in between, where some of us made new connections and started having a lot fun which was novel and pretty perfect as well. So sure, there are no perfect people or perfect lives in the world, yes, but, we can be pretty sure that perfect moments do indeed exist. They are so perfect that they made up for the rest. And this summer, what we have in our hands is just the perfect opportunity to create a million of these perfect moments.
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Service in the Land of Smiles
Everyone deserves the chance to be happy. You’ll work to enrich the lives of underprivileged communities from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, focusing on personal connection and support. Find your own happiness completing 100 hours of service as you discover the sights and sounds of the Land of Smiles.View Details