Sawyer Wood – I Made Half A Broom

So Thailand is still super cool in case you were wondering. As I’m sure you can read in everyone else’s blogs, we’ve been having a great time here. We’ve been doing a lot of service, hauling sand and painting playground equipment (while typing this I literally have three different colors of paint on me), but it’s been really good and I feel like I’m really making a difference.   Also Thailand is gorgeous. I’m pretty sure I already mentioned this in my last post but it’s so pretty here. There are mountains that seem to just pop up out of nowhere and it’s beautiful. The temples we’ve visited (Tiger Temple and Elephant Temple) are so complex and intricate and stunning. It’s amazing to me the amount of time, energy, and money these people put into keeping their culture alive and it makes me want to do the same.   The kids here are also so cute. They always run up to us and want piggy back rides or play football (soccer) with them. They also seem to really enjoy the “Down By The Banks” game, they’ve played it for hours with us. In the mornings they start off every school day with a kind of flag ceremony, but they also have this dance they do with it that we’ve been trying to do and it’s so fun. That’s probably the best part of my day.   The leaders and other students have been super fun as well. I’ve loved getting to know and joking around with all of them. We’ve been listening to music in the car rides and...

Kira Skog – Part 2

Hello all who are back in not humid Utah. On this trip, I have sweat through my clothes every single day. It feels gross and very strange. I have weird sweat lines that only appeared from exercising while in Utah. The worst part is they don’t really go away. The lines just stay there and make me feel a little bit pathetic that I can’t handle 73% humidity in 89 F temperatures. For real though, it really feels like death. We have done a whole lot of painting while we have been here in Thailand. Currently we are painting the playground equipment at the small school. My job is to take the wire brush to the slid and brush all the chipping paint off. It is way harder than I had first anticipated. I quickly found that paint does not like to be wire brushed off even though it may be chipping or look like it may want to easily come off. I admit that while scraping off the chipping paint, I imagined the little paint chips as little aliens falling into the abyss of outer space as their planet (the slide) slowly continues to lose its gravity because of an attack by the feared evil spike alien clan that can only live on their space ship (the wire brush) because they lost their beloved home planet years ago. They have now become angry and are envious of all those who still have a planet to call home. Now they go around on their spiky spaceship and destroy the planets that lie in the darkness of space.   Thailand...

Skyler Lloyd

Sweat and smiles. That pretty much sums up the trip so far in 3 words. Thailand is a different place but very similar to the Philippines in a lot of ways. The people are very good to us and we connect with them even though we don’t speak their language, I mean, I am pretty much fluent now but I can’t speak for everyone else. These kinds of expeditions are the greatest experience because you get to see a part of the world that not very many travelers get to see; you get to see the people and the culture. That is the most beautiful part of Thailand for sure. From sweating through your clothes five times over playing soccer with the kids, to hauling dirt for hours on end, you get to interact with the kids and see the “ear to ear” smiles on their face. That makes it all seem worth it at the end of the day even though everyone is passed out on the drive home, Well, I know I am so I can’t see anyone else but I assume they are also out.  We are having a blast especially in team “sha-la”(win), because we are winners. Marissa might think they have the “party van”, but we for sure have the party group. I don’t want to ever come home but I sure can’t wait to share my experiences with everyone at home.   Peace out and jer Kahn mai!   Ps don’t spell check my thai, no idea how its meant to be spelt or said for that...

Marissa Sheppard

Sawadee ka!  I guess it’s my turn to blog.  Things are going really well.  As I type our group is painting the playground at the school.  Each day is filled with new adventures, funny stories, and service.  Yesterday as we were driving home from the schools, and from visiting a seriously beautiful temple, I looked around in our van and couldn’t help but smile.  I thought about how lucky we are and how much my own personal cup “runneth over”.  We have such a fun group of student volunteers and the kids at the schools are amazingly cute! Every morning we get up and drive to the schools.  We’ve coined our van with the name, “party van”.  It is truly a party as we jam out to music from a playlist we put together as a team.  This morning we discovered there is a giant TV for karaoke that comes down from the ceiling.  Our van is definitely going to attempt to utilize that these next couple of days.  Hopefully there are English songs.  Thai is a difficult language.  The only words I can remember are sawadee ka (hello), Khob ung ka (thank you).  I have to ask Mo (one of our translators) how to say things all the time.  Sorry Mo!  I love watching our students interact with the kids every day.  They love the kids and the kids love them!  We’ve had so many neat experiences and inside jokes.  We have a whole quote book of funny quotes by our group (Joel and Dewey quotes are featured in there quite a bit).  Today we are going to...

Part 2 – Jessica De La Mare

Hello! I still don’t want to come home, but I promise I will! We are having the best time here, even if we do spend 5 hours a day painting.   This week started out with white water river rafting in the middle of the Thai jungle. It was awesome. Normally, I am not a fan of river rafting. Something always seems to go wrong but this made up for all of the bad times. Definitely not the safest thing that I’ve done, there were several times that the thought, “someone would get sued in America for this,” crossed through my mind but I would do it again in a heartbeat. All the tour guides on our rafts were punks and they kept splashing us square in the face with water. We got them back though, so it’s all good. There were tons of rafts all going down at the same time, probably too many, and we kept getting stuck on each other. At one point my raft was half on top of another. That was a little scary. We saw a baby elephant along the river which was amazing. How many people can say that they saw a baby elephant while they were white water river rafting in the middle of the Thai jungle?? It was awesome.   We have spent all week in the schools and it has been so much fun. The kids are the best part of everyday. They are all such pleasant children, there isn’t a single one that I’m not fond of. Much more enjoyable than American children… I taught my lesson twice...

Thigh-land – Nick Lloyd

Thighla- I mean Thailand is amazing!!! (Mom it’s an inside joke).  First I would just like to say it’s a literal paradise here and I’ve fallen in love with almost every aspect of it (durian smells awful and squid flavored anything is disgusting) but everything so far has been amazing. The mountains here are beyond description, but the Floating Mountains from the movie “Avatar” are a pretty close and realistic comparison. The cliff-like mountains are made of limestone and are a grey/white color and are completely covered in foliage, it’s pretty sweet. Our hotel sits right in front of a giant mountain and are surrounded by Palm plantations. The palm plantations are pretty cool because all the palm trees are planted in rows and are giant, not to mention they’re everywhere making a simple drive through the mountain-side a major motion picture. Also it is hot here and incredibly humid. It’s impossible not to become drenched in sweat simply by having a 2 minute dance party or tickle fight with the kids, and it’s even worse in the sun. The kids hands down are my favorite thing about Thailand though. Their humor, kindness, and smiles make it all worth it. On the first day of playing with the kids, we made objects out of pipe cleaners and all the kids wanted a pair of pipe-cleaner glasses like mine and Annie’s. SO after a straight 20 minutes of making glasses made of pipe-cleaners, I began to wave goodbye to the kids. Soon the waves goodbye turned into high-fives with the dudes of the class, and just when I lifted my...

Unforgettable trip to Thailand – Emma Robb

Hello everyone! This is Emma Robb here. I just have to say the trip thus far has been absolutely unreal (including the chicken feet in the soup) haha. We have done so many fun things, and the people, the students, and the hospitality have been simply amazing. The students are so bubbly and so kind hearted with a constant smile on their face. Their sweet spirits and light in their eyes make all the shoveling, painting, and cement mixing worth it. It’s incredible to see someone with so little can be so happy. In fact they’re the happiest people I have ever met! And I must say it’s the cutest thing when a Thai child comes up attempting to ask your name by saying “hello my name is?” haha it never gets old.J we have also done other fun things like climbing tiger mountain which is a 300 step climb… or oops I mean 1,237* step climb to the top of a temple, elephant and monkey feeding, and rafting. Its been quit the experience. Definitely one I won’t forget. Oh and fun facts of the day in case you were wondering… -Dorian is very gross -Marissa can sing -and David is Joel’s son...

An Adventure of a Lifetime- Annie Miner

Hello mom and dad!!!!! Yes I am alive, well, and happier than ever. First of all, Thailand is sooooo beyond beautiful. Words cannot describe the breathtaking scenery here. The schools and projects have already been so rewarding. We have painted playground equipment, mixed and poured cement, carried 38,047,389,274,983 baskets of dirt here and there, taught in the schools and so much more. The kids and administration are absolutely incredible! They have welcomed us with open arms and have been so kind to all of us. One of my many funny/exciting experiences here in Thailand was climbing to the Tiger temple. May I add we were told before hand that it was 300 steps to the top not too bad right? However, on our way there were informed that it was indeed NOT 300 steps but instead 1,237 (to be exact). A salted tear streamed down my face moments after. Well it turns out the climb wasn’t too bad and good company and elephant pants made for a good time… or so I thought. The breeze at the top felt so nice, breeze here is very very very rare (the humidity is INSANE). I guess it may have been a little too breezy. I looked down to see my pants COMPLETELY ripped down the seam. Ah good times good times. Definitely unforgettable though!! We were in the clouds up there, mountain tops surrounded us. I loved every minute, and have loved every other minute I have spent here! Thailand has been an adventure of a lifetime.   S/O to JO-EL. Glad I decided to save you from falling off the...

Sawyer Wood – A Fish Bit My Face

Ok so Thailand is freaking amazing. The views are so wonderful, we can wake up and see the sunrise from our balcony every morning and it’s so beautiful. Also yesterday we went to this waterfall and Rhen was walking around and then he started shouting “The fish are eating my feet” and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard. Then we all got in the water and felt the fish bite off our dead skin and it was so cool. I held my head under for like five minutes to see if they would bite it and one of them finally did and it made me really happy. Working with the kids has also been so fun, they don’t speak much English at all but it’s kind of fun to figure out how to communicate with them in other ways and although the work has been hard it’s been totally worth it. All in all, I’d say Thailand is easily one of the most spectacular and enjoyable places I have ever visited. I am so grateful I’ve been given the chance to come and enjoy helping people where I know it really makes a...