Waiting to go back

Chang Rai Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 9 › view all entries
The elephant riding, waterfalling swimming and Lahu tribe dancing during our last homestay was incredible, I will need to add the photos when they are developed. The elephant ride was bumpier than expected. We bought food to feed the elephants before we set off on the trek, bumping along with a mahout sat on the head. By then end, we all were sitting on the elephants neck in place of the mahout. It was incredible. All too soon the trek came to and end and we had to dismount (ever so unelegantly in my case!) Bidding the elphants god bye we set of on foot up a steep hill to a little hut built by Mirror. Whilst it proved how unfit I was, the view from the balcony like area of the bamboo hut was incredible. We all gasped and took photos. I called home brieflly to brag because Mum was starting to worry at my lack of communication. We were then cooked a meal using bamboo instruments over fire which ultimately tasted delicious. I helped prepare the food too, which was fun (massive machete for tiny cucumber) We also sculpted our own chopsticks out of bamboo but mine weren't god. The meal was served on bamboo plates with tea in cups carved from bamboo. Such a versatile material that bamboo.
After the meal we walked to the village and set up in a spacious Lahu hut. Over the afternoon we visitted various parts of the village inckuding our guides home and bumped into some very odd dutch tourists who clearly hadn't heard of respecting the Lahu traditions of modesty! In the evening we got to join in with the dancing by the Lahu tribe around the fire but I really was useless at getting the steps in the right order. After, we all payed pittance for a massage which was incredible- lots of pulling of tendons and muscles but so relaxing.
The next morning we set of late from the village after a yummy breakfast and trekked down the hill to a village were we dropped our bags and set off armed with bathing clother for the waterfall. Though it was muddy, full of buds and cold and rainy, we all still got in and splashed for a while before drying off, having lunch and heading to the very interesting hill tribe museum. Our guide talked animatedly in broken english about the various objects and let us try setting the crossbow. In the end we set off after an exciting two days back to Mirror.
 Over the weekend we rested again at the hotel and night bazaar for what turned into an eventful week.
On Monday, we travelled two hours to Thrun Proang (or something to that effect) school. The school was much larger than the previous schools we had seen and with a great variety to of ages- kindergarten to age 20. I taught grades 5 and 7 I think- but the age range in each class was quite large, leading the sex ed lessons with grade 7 in the mornings. Things were going great until the Tuesday night- by the time morning came 6 of 9 people were ill (not including me) with terrible food poisoning. Two people were taken to hospital (one because she fainted down the stairs) that night and then Katiewas taken the next day. Katie actually required an over night stay but we decided to come back to the Mirror foundation that afternoon and she stayed in a hospital in Chiang Rai. Sice coming back, most people are back to normal or very on the way. We have adhocked onto another volunteer group and are sharing lessons with them today and tomorrow. Then Saturday night I fly back to Bangkok. I might spend the day in Chiang Rai but there is a very little to do there.
Its been icredible here- the rolling clouds over the steep, forest covered mountains, the amazing weather and wildlife, but more inportantly the people both Thai and volunteers have created such a dynamic atmosphere to work in. If I did miss my certain someone, I don't doubt I would be here longer.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Chang Rai
photo by: dan2105