Ban Nai Rai Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
It has been almost two years since I volunteered with CISV for their International People's Project in Thailand.
It was my first time in South East Asia and for what I knew, we were going to work with the affected villages in the areas most affected from the 2004 tsunami. The goal of the program was to reach the children of the community and work with them through play, games, music and art.
Now, 2 years later, after losing all my emails and blogs, I decide to document a little bit of this journey of self-discovery and understanding.
I left Santa Barbara in December with nothing to loose. My lease was up, had a broken heart, graduated from college, and had no idea of what I was doing with myself. This project crossed my path almost 10 months before all started crumbling down and by the time I was supposed to leave, I was not even sure if it was a good thing.
I've been involved with CISV since I was 16, and ever since I moved to California, I've been active in the non profit/volunteer world. This time, I was going abroad to work. and to Thailand for 2 months. Oh boy.
I cannot describe my feelings at the time but just the memories that come up in my head as I type this.
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, I've dealt with poverty, chaos, fear, and the most scariest places and people you dont want to ever deal in your life again. I've been robbed, my friends have been kidnapped, I constantly rolled my window on the red stop lights.
Summarizing things (as you can see I can go on and on...):
Here I was was, volunteering and living with these families that have lost everything. Families were gone, sisters were missing, homes were destroyed. All that time speaking and working with these children and community members I never broke down, until...
on the aniversary of the tsunami in Kao Lak, there was a ceremony. Pictures were hanged everywhere, families from abroad and distant villages united by a dragged boat miles inland.
I teared up from their losses as i walked through a labirinth of broken hearts and old memories of loved ones. The interesting thing was: here you have all these families that lost EVERYTHING, and here they stand with a smile on their face and the most giving heart of all. These people will share and give you everything they have. it seemed that those that have less are always wanting to give more.
I was embraced by this culture, by the thai people. Learning how life goes on, how little bumps on the road become meaningless in the grander scheme. Everyone was always smiling. at me. Everyone wanted to share something.
I am not sure if I made sense at all with this writing. It was in Thailand that I discover one of the true meanings of life. It is not about finding yourself but allowing others lives to reach yours.
Travelling puts you in your uncomfortable that is comfortable.
It has always been a remedy to wake me up and put me into place. it is sad though, that sometimes it takes one to travel in order to understand.