Location: Samutsongkram Province
Today began with a grueling wake-up call at the very unpleasant time of 6:30 am. Luckily, the day got a lot better when we took a van to the Duang Prateep Foundation to meet the teenagers from Klong Toey that we would be spending the next couple of days with. It was awkward, and no one mingled until we were forced to play some very weird games on the bus. Although weird, the game did end up being fun and helped us learn each other’s names. We had to pick a name card and then guess what the person looked like, which of course meant that genders got mixed up (cough cough Denver ;)), stereotypes were revealed, and there was a lot of laughing. After a fairly entertaining 2-hour bus ride we arrived at the DPF orphanage that would become our “home base” for the next two days. We played a bunch of games together and then brainstormed in our groups about issues facing youth in Thailand and our home countries. Afterward, we were assigned buddies and then shuttled onto a boat that would take us to 4 different temples. It was pretty interesting going to the temples with our Thai buddies and performing the various rituals with them. After the temples, we were taken to a floating market to get some souvenir shopping done. Nina even got to cook some sweet tortilla thing! Shopping ended at 6:30 pm so that we could get back on the boat and see fireflies that live in many of the trees along the riverside in this part of Thailand (pretty cool sight). When we got back to the orphanage, we were served a delicious Thai meal and played some volleyball (I use the term loosely because the ball was barely blown up and we all kind of sucked haha). The day was wrapped up with an awesome dance party where the Thai kids proceeded to show us how much better at dancing they were than us! Overall it was an amazing day, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us tomorrow.