Cleaning Up the Beach

Boat ride in the south of Thailand

Thai Dance

Playing Songkran


April 20, 2024

Summer Break

I just got back from a trip with Rotary to the South and North of Thailand and it was amazing! During the South trip we did so many things such as snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and visiting temples. It was amazing to see the beautiful beaches and the tropical fish. My favorite part was definitely snorkeling in the coral reef because of how colorful and interesting it was. During the North we went to an elephant sanctuary which was a lot of fun. We got to watch the elephants put on a show and then bathe them after. We also saw many beautiful Temples including the Wat Rong Khun which is huge and completely white. My favorite part was definitely playing Songkran which is the Thai New Year festival. During the festival everyone goes outside and has a huge water gun fight across the whole city. It was so fun running around with my friends getting drenched. The best part was when people would put ice into the water and then spray others while we watched them jump in surprise. It is definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

These last few weeks have been summer break so I’ve been keeping myself occupied by traveling with my friends and going to take classes at a school near me with the other exchange students in my area. I have already learned how to make Thai perfume and multiple Japanese dishes such as Sushi and Miso soup. Soon we will learn how to make Phuang Malia which are small jasmine roses combined together to make rings of flowers. Thai people believe these keep away bad spirits and many people often have them in their car and home. I also got the chance to be part of a traditional Thai dance organized by Rotary. We practiced a lot and then showcased our dance at our District Conference. It was very interesting to put on the Thai traditonal outfit and to learn about Thai dance.

With Rotary in Thailand we have also been doing multiple service projects. For example when we were on our South trip we all woke up at 6:00 a.m. and went to clean up the beach. On that same trip we also gave toys and spent time hanging out with kids living in the Kao Ngan Bay area. I really enjoy doing these activities because afterwards I always feel like I’ve done something that actually makes a difference and helped make people feel better. With my Rotary club in Nakhon Sawan we also have done multiple service projects such as going to local schools and teaching English as well as raising money to give to the local government hospital in my area.

Before I left on my exchange year we had a course about the 6 B’s, Be First, Be Curious, Be on Purpose, Be of service, Be Grateful, and Be Here Now. And for me one of those B’s is constantly on my mind and very helpful in making my exchange year a success. That B is to “Be Here Now” this means to be in the moment and be willing to try new things. For example, whenever people invite me to go somewhere I think will be boring or eat something I’ve never tried and don’t think is going to be good I will think about this B and go to the place or eat this new food. It has been very helpful in opening my horizons and helped me to become open to so many more things.