Friday, 23 May 2014

Travel: Chiang Mai Week 2

Day Eight, May 12

Visited New Life Center in the morning. Although i've thought about this on several occasions, it's always a personal struggle to fully comprehend or come to terms with the fact that the girls my age had once dealt with being sold as sexual objects, while i was fully comfortable living my life in Singapore. If fate were but a little twisted, i could be the one born into a severely underprivileged family, and sold into prostitution. The thought is always somewhat sobering. Went for a leisurely evening run and I was awed by the scenic beauty of the countryside. God's creation is truly breathtaking...

Day Nine, May 13

Some picture's from yesterday's night adventure to a "higher end" supermarket. Originally intended to go for street food but they were all closed due to the sudden downpour ): The ride back home on the back of Pi Tom's pick-up truck was delightfully novel though. Gazing up into the vast, limitless night sky made me feel somewhat trifling, causing me to consider the measure of the masterful One that created this sublime universe.

First day at home stay tonight... Fah-sai (the little girl) was a bundle of joy to have around! She's a lovely child, and especially bright too. It was exceptionally heartwarming to see that despite the fact that Fah-sai's family did not own much, a distinct sense of pride and contentment in the little they did have could be drawn. Any lack of physical comfort in their house was made up by the warmth and love they had for one another --a most defining feature of that household. 

Day Ten, May 14

Very very tired. The kids at the preschool are as adorable as they are active, and the weather was extremely unforgiving, which caused me to feel lethargic the entire day. It was a productive day regardless, only I feel thoroughly exhausted at present. It's extremely difficult to entertain the notion of the next 6-7 weeks being so physically demanding. I suppose the lack of intellectual stimulation also becomes deadening after awhile... i'm never quite in the mood to sit down and read properly because the conditions here are so unconducive for work. Not at all eager about admitting this but recent developments have led me to conclude that i might be homesick. Making a conscious effort to adapt to the Thai lifestyle but it's so much slower and completely different from what i am typically accustomed to. It really does take work to not work. Sigh, life and it's paradoxes.

Visited Pi Moot's (Fah-sai's dad) mango farm after school and it was lovely. Can't recall the last time I've been on a farm...it was truly an honour to witness such a magnificent sunset too, one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.  

Day Eleven, May 15

Getting used to the wailing toddlers by now. Working at the preschool is insanely draining but sometimes a cuddle or toothy grin from a toddler is all it takes to make the day's work worth it. The feeling of satisfaction and warmth you get when a kid crawls into your arms and snuggle's up to you is indescribable. I've never felt anything quite like it before, and i think the warm afterglow you get is frankly quite unparalleled. Watching the kids playing during the annual Summer Splash just made me think again about how easily kids are appeased. Imagine if the mere act of swimming could make you so, so fulfilled and life was as simple as that! There is something to be said of the purity of children --such free laughter, such uninhibited love output, and such pure joy. It's beautiful.

Day Twelve, May 16

It's awfully pleasant to to be back at Aunt Marg's. Pi Gloria came over came over for dinner with Ty today! Dinner was roasted chicken, Vietnamese spring rolls, and papaya salad. Very satisfying as usual. I always feel so content when i'm here (':

Day Thirteen, May 17

Had a huge breakfast...4 hotdogs, 2 slices of wholemeal bread, 5 slices of mango, and a steaming cup of coffee. Saturday mornings just feel so amazing. Basically rested and read the day away... still working on internalising the whole concept of rest. The productivity level in Singapore is so high that sometimes it feels like we don't even know what it means to take a what could be a very well deserved or even much needed break. It's rather sad i suppose.

Laila (a thai youth who stays with my host family) said something at the evening youth gathering that really caused me to pause for a moment and think. To quote her "At first, i didn't really like the fact that the Singaporeans were here because it meant that i'd be very busy doing preparations and cooking etc. however i'm glad they came because it taught me how to open up more to people." The first half of her sentence rang penetratingly in my ears as  light dawned and i realised that a good number of my own constructs on my stay in Thailand were childishly narcissistic. I had so confidently assumed I'd be entering the small village as some sort of "royalty",  occasionally painted out myself to be some philanthropic heroine even... virtually never have i entertained the idea that the villagers might find my arrival a bother! It was a profoundly humbling realisation to realise how blatantly conceited i could be, how we all can be. Recognising that i could be such an unlovable creature really made me appreciate their hospitality in a new way i never had before.

Day Fourteen,  May 18

Today is baptism sunday. I've never before witnessed a full baptism, so it was a refreshing experience, characterised by both sanctity and exultation.  Spent a considerable amount of time on enthusiastic attempts to persuade Ty to call me god-ma... unfortunately to no avail ):

Went for a walk with the village youths today and I'm really glad they are no longer as reticent towards us. Particularly thankful for the time spent with Fen and Far (two of the village girls). Still endeavouring to view myself as a village girl rather than a girl in a village. It's tough, but i think i'm getting better. Dinner was good today! Laila made curry chicken with veg and a few side dishes. Gathering at the dinner table partaking in home-cooked food with the youths was surprisingly pleasant... and for a moment, that felt like home. (':

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