What a week we’ve had in the magnificent land of Thai. We packed so much into just seven days, where do I even start? How about…
The splendid first day of the week that everyone looks forward to was dedicated to lesson planning and team building. A unified team is a successful team. We can’t fight poverty and empower people if we don’t love, appreciate, and respect each other! Lots of warm fuzzies were felt by all.
Bethany, Emma, Rachel, June, and I had an amazing opportunity to be part of a community outreach near Chiang Dao with our favorite O-Zone Foundation. O-Zone is all about helping people understand that there are options for their life, so we worked with some awesome villagers to educate about those options. We started with an anti-drug field day and soccer tournament with the village kids. It was quite the hit. Our very own O-Zone soccer team took 2nd place in said tournament and won some pretty sweet bragging rights. Afterwards, we danced with the villagers. Some would say that it was courageous of us to step out of our comfort zones and attempt to fully immerse ourselves in Thai culture. Others would say we looked incredibly awkward and proved we have no rhythm. The later would be correct.
Day two of O-Zone’s community outreach! We spent all day at an O-Zone sponsored health event. Community members were able to come and get tested for HIV and Hepatitis C for free. Once they got their results they received resources for treatment or options to better protect themselves in the future. The HELP team also spent some time teaching village women how to make reusable menstrual pads. It was a day full of improving lives by improving health and it made my public health major heart very happy.
Thursday - Saturday!
The volunteers decided to take both of our vacation days this week and we spent a truly glorious weekend down south in Ko Lanta. Glorious may not be a strong enough word to adequately express just how delightful our beach vacation was. Heavenly? Blissful? Devine? The English language does not have words to capture it.
We swam, we snorkeled, we met monkeys, we dined in style, we spelunked, we soaked up some sun (some more successfully than others), we made memories that will last a lifetime, but most importantly we recharged our depleted batteries so we can be on top of our development game for the rest of our time spent in this paradise we temporarily get to call home.
Here’s to the next six weeks in Thailand!
-Charlotte, Thailand Volunteer