Bangkok & Chang Mai

I LOVE THAILAND. This is such an amazing place. It’s been 11 days (I think) and it seems like I’ve already experienced so so much!! 
The more I see of it, the more I to love it.

We finally arrived yesterday in Chiang Mai around 4:30pm, after riding the overnight train from Bangkok for about 20 hours, due to the fact that there was a 6 hour delay. But none of us really seemed to mind. I mean, when you’re flying through the jungle with your head out of the side of the cart, or playing cards with your new best friends, you don’t really have too much to complain about! Even if the bathrooms are reeking up the entire train, and you haven’t had any real food in quite some time.

Even though it has only been 3 and a half days since we arrived in Thailand, we all feel like we have already experienced so much.  How can there be anything left?

We’ve rode in tuk-tuks, water taxis, buses, trains and planes. We’ve seen temple after temple, and market after market. We’ve already eaten some pretty wacky food. We have even ran through the pouring rain, drenched to the bone, with BOTH our backpacks on (and most of us wearing flip-flops) to catch the bus while local people were cheering us on. Every day holds so much in store.

Bangkok was quite the experience, and arriving in Chiang Mai, we all can appreciate the calmer, greener atmosphere. And watching the scenery while in the train, there is definitely some excitement about getting to experience our first home stay… along with some fear. There is so much to learn in this part of the world, and it’s incredible that we all have this opportunity. We are definitely still in the honeymoon stage!!   

Since last Saturday, we’ve been living on an organic farm in Chang Mai called Pun Pun. We’ve been doing a bunch of volunteer work on the farm and in the community.  We’ve made mud bricks for ‘Adobe’ houses, picked up garbage around the village on the way to the swimming hole, leveled out ground and laid foundation for a shelter, picked fruit, made soap, sorted seeds and so much more. The food here is all grown and handpicked here on the farm, and holy cow, this food is incredible. My body feels so good, and my taste buds are experiencing so much!!
 P’ Tong Bhai is my homestay mommy where me, Katherine and Kajsa are living. She is such an incredible cook, and she’s making us vegetarian meals since all three of us are vegetarians! I can’t wait to show you all my new recipes when I’m back! She cooks with flowers alot, and I’ve decided that it’s such an amazing thing to eat. Not only do flowers look pretty, but they taste pretty too!! Tomorrow morning I’m waking up early and she’s going to teach be how to make my favorite meal that I’ve had here ! It was a flower omlette. I don’t know what any of these things are called, but mmmmm so tasty! There is this other flower concoction that I would marry if i could. Its made my boiling water and these beautiful blue flowers. The water turns such a pretty blue color, and then we removed the flowers and added sugar. We cooled it off and added lemon juice and it turned from blue to PURPLE ! It was magical, and I loved it. When making dinner, we literally walk around the yard and pick cucumbers, onions, passionfruit, lychee nuts and so on and then make a meal from it. I’ve definitely not losing any weight or being deprived of food here!
Pun Pun is such a neat place. I’m learning so much, and I really hope to be able to incorporate these lifestyle ways into my own! Everything they say about organic, simple living makes so much sense to me. And everyone here is so incredibly healthy and happy. There are a few children that are growing up on the farm, and I couldn’t imagine a better setting to do so. 
Making the adobe bricks out of mud has been an interesting experience. I was super super super stoked when they first told us!! But then I realized that that meant there would be worms touching my feet. It definitely took alot for me to get in there, but eventually I did it! We mushed it around with our feet and then added dried rice husks and then carried buckets to pour the mud into molds to then dry in the sun. It was such hard work! But fun and satisfying. I would be totally content to live in a building hand made like that. 
Everyone has definitely been feeling up and down. Katherine and Greg even ended up making a trip to the hospital this afternoon. But I am healthy as can be!! And so so thankful for it. I’ve decided that if I eat well, sleep well, think positive, engage myself in my surroundings, be willing, be open minded, love lots, smile often, work hard, laugh and sweat lots, I won’t get sick. Wish me luck!! 
We leave here on Saturday and then we’re off doing a trek through the jungle! On the way stopping at hill tribes along the way. So I’ll do my best to take lots of pictures and have lots to write about! The trouble is being able to find a computer that has a way for me to connect my computer. But I promise I’ve got tons of photos coming 🙂
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