Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FORGET (10/17/19)
TITLE: Beautiful Thailand
By Marlene Custer
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Due to jet lag it was a short night of sleep. As I awakened to morning, my senses were assaulted with new sights, new smells, and new foods. I had enjoyed seaweed soup on the plane, but there was a myriad number of new tastes that awaited on the breakfast buffet. While I was a little hesitant on some of the entrees, the new fruitsrambutan, longan, and pomelowere a delight.
After a few days in Bangkok our team was bussed 400 miles northeast. There I experienced eating rice every day, riding in a songthaew, which was little more than a covered pick up truck with two parallel benches in the back, and squatty potties.
I got used to having sweat run down my back, and I struggled to stay hydrated. Frequent work breaks, which were a necessity, gave us time to interact with the Thai people. Having a hostess who spoke fairly good English, and a Thai/English dictionary, along with the use of charades, communication was possible.
There were beautiful mountains and valleys to see, as well as new florajasmine, stately palm trees and an abundance of bamboo.
I definitely had mixed feelings when we came to the final days of our work time. As I lifted my camera to take yet another picture, I commented to my husband, I dont want to forget anything!
I wanted to always remember the view from our hotel room, the rutted dirt roads, the rice fields, the area behind the church building where our hosts sat on mats on the ground to prepare our lunches. I did not want to forget waking up to the crowing of roosters, having to brush my teeth with bottled water, the open-air shops, and seeing young people hanging onto the backs of songtaews because the inside was full.
Yes, there were times I longed for an All-American Hamburger, a good cup of coffee, and not having to think about how much100 Baht was in American money. But those things paled in comparison to the bond I felt towards our new friends.
We returned to our familiar home surroundings, but Thailand was not forgotten. Two years later we returned to teach English and assist wherever needed at a Childrens Home where Tribal children could get a better education. Today we are still in communication with a number of Thai friends that became a part of our lives. No, I will never forget beautiful Thailand and its gracious people!
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