Location: New Life Project, Kanchanaburi

This morning we woke up early and hopped in our ride with 15 of the kids from the New Life Project to head to the local temple. Today is an important Buddhist holiday, marking the start of the rainy season, in which the monks have to stay in the temples for three months. Everyone comes together to present the monks with food and candles to help them during this time. We all got to participate in the ceremony with the local community, presenting rice to the monks and listening to the prayers in Thai. When we returned to the New Life Project in the late morning, we got to experience a lesson in cake decorating in the bakery, where the girls learn baking skills every Saturday so that they could get a job in a bakery in the future if you want. We may not be professional bakers in the making, but we enjoyed decorating and eating our cupcakes. In the afternoon we made krathongs, decorations made of banana leaves and flowers, and some of us got dressed up in traditional Thai costume. The girls took about an hour each to get their hair, makeup and costumes done, but luckily for the guys it only took about ten minutes. After dinner, we had a fashion show performance to show off our new looks, and then we all walked down to the lake where we released the krathongs we had made into the water as we made a wish. It was very special to get to celebrate the holiday of Loy Krathong, usually celebrated in November, with the New Life Project tonight. 

We are all fine and having the time of our lives, and one last thing, to the parents all of the students on the trip, we want to say thanks for letting us come on this wonderful trip. It is helping us have a better understanding of other cultures, be aware of the world’s problems and be grateful for all of the amazing things you give us at home that we sometimes take for granted. We love your parents and miss you, and we will come home soon stronger and wiser then the day you sent us off. Good night.