Into oblivion

Chang Rai Travel Blog

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Sorry for lack of updates- the internet here is a little scarce! But made it to Chiang Rai, met team and settled into our accomodation (dorm style huts in a set of building making up Mirror Art's complex. The loos and the food take some getting used to but its still fun.
I was ill two days ago (so were three others) but have recovered from that. It keeps raining then getting hot again (can't understand why its called wet season at all ;-]) oh and by the way its the year 2551 over here-bizarre but true!Its because the years are counted from the death of Budda.
We've so far been teaching English in Praset school and spent two nights with the hill tribes. The teaching is wonderful and the hill tribes are amazingly interesting but living with them is pretty hard as the conditions are a bit unsanitary (water drains into street, squat loos in shed with no sink to wash your hands). They construct these amazing houses that cling to the steep hillside entirely made of bamboo! I have some photos. They are mostly famers and their animals live in very close vacinity. I was glad to get back for a shower today- though its not that much better here (but the loos are proper even if they don't flush). They also have their own languages (there are many different tribes) so communication gets interesting. In the second village we had the tribal leader play some Lahu (thats a tribe name) pipes to us which was an honour!
The kids in the schools are really intelligent. I've been working with the 10-13 year olds and they know a fair bit of english. Its funny tho as one day they come to school in guide/ scout uniform, the next sports kit, then back to normal uniform. All the schools seem to do scouts or guides as a weekly activity. We also helped Mirror Art foundation (our guide program over here) do an anti-drugs and anti-trafficking presentation which was all in Thai so i didn't really understand, and the youngest kids (4+) were a bit of a hassle so we  had to entertain them quietly too.
We got to go to a hot spa yesterday afternoon which was a nice break from teaching, meeting tribal leaders and lesson planning. The water comes out the earth at 87 degrees celcius and it smell of sulfue but floating around in the pool watching the orange mud come off was bliss. Once you stepped out the pool you got instantly dirty in the mud again but thats another matter.
Talking of mud, the thunder is starting. At least we don't have to go out in the open top pick up truck (which is our transport/rollercoaster) tonight. A night in with the other volunteers (from all over the world) before starting on the massive planning and packing for next week (when we are away from the centre for a week). Got the weekend off though!

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Chang Rai
photo by: dan2105