The beginning of April was full with field trips with my Thai language school & a major holiday in Thailand.
It all started on the 6th with a field trip to go bamboo rafting. Teachers, students, & their families all went for a day of rafting down the river, swimming, & eating lunch together.
It was a fun time!
|Getting on the rafts to begin our float journey|
|My friend, Sunny, & Me|
|Most of the rafts were "guided" by students, which made for some very interesting & exciting moments!|
|There were little stands set up along the way where you could buy snacks & drinks.|
|The view was amazing!|
(I wish my pictures turned out better so you could see, but a not great camera + LOTS of sunlight = poor pictures.)
|Bamboo growing beside the river|
|There were areas along the way where you could stop for lunch.|
(This is my raft - with a guide :))
|At the end of our hour-long ride, we stopped for swimming & lunch.|
On the 11th, we had another field trip. April 12-15th was Songkran Festival in Thailand. It is a celebration for the Thai New Year. The day before, my school went to two temples to learn about the Thai traditions & culture.
|Wat Phan On|
|The tradition for ringing the bells is that the louder your ring them, the more favor you receive.|
|These are full of sand. The tradition was that people would bring in sand to the temple to replace the sand that sticks to their feet as they leave. The flags are placed in the sand & the higher you place a flag, the more blessing you receive.|
|The flag with the animals are the animals that represent the years.|
|This is the 2nd temple we went to.|
(I didn't get the name of it.)
|There were a lot more tourists at this temple. There were food & souvenir stands set up here.|
|Inside the 2nd temple.|
|A monk statue made of wax.|
|These were a place to make an offering according to the day of the week that you were born. |
The day of the week has a special meaning.
|Teachers from my school|
The Songkran Festival celebrates the traditional Thai New Year. When it started, people would bless their elders by pouring a little bit of water on their head, shoulders, or hands. The water blessing has evolved into a city-wide water fight!
I went out on Friday just to get groceries & by the time I got to the store, I was soaked! On Saturday, I ventured out with my friend Sunny to experience the "blessing of water". We were only out for a couple of hours & that was plenty for me. There were SO many people! I'm glad I got to experience it, though!
|Half a block from my apartment & we're already getting "blessed"!|
|People rode in the back of trucks throwing water on those they passed by.|
|Tuk tuks were also full with people throwing water.|
|This is in front of the mall near my house, Kad Suan Kaew. |
The street was open to cars at this point, but was closed when we were going back home.
|We walked along the moat, where people got the water from that they were throwing.|
|Some of the water I was "blessed" with was FREEZING - and this is why - blocks of ice!|
As we were walking, I looked over to see this temple. It struck me how blessed I am to have been called to & given the opportunity to be experiencing all of this & living in this place, to just be able to experience a new place & new culture. It also re-affirmed to me why I'm here - to show people the love of Christ & tell them about Him. This place really needs Him, which I'm reminded of every time I drive or walk around & see all of the many temples.
I'll leave you with a picture of my walk home - walking along the wall of the old city that runs along the moat.