Edit Blog Post
Published: December 25th 2010
A solo trip.... I traveled to northern Thailand for two reasons. First, to volunteer at the annual English Camp weekend in Udon Thani, organized by the American Women's Club (AWC) of Thailand for its' high school girll's Scholarship program. Secondly, I needed to get a new visa from a Thai consulate outside of Thailand. I took the one hour flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani, and then planned to take the International Bus to Vientiane, Laos which is another 70 kms north. Once at the Udon Thani bus station, I noticed that the guy I sat next to on the flight up was also taking the international bus. We started chatting along the route. It turns out that he's originally from Laos and is now an American citizen living in San Diego. He worked with the CIA starting in 1962 and left his country in 1975. He returns every year to visit family and do a bit of touring for a month. Yes, he's a cool senior traveler named Frank, sporting a leather jacket, a guitar in tow and talking to everyone he meets. I met another "senior" traveler while waiting in the queue at the Thai embassy in Vientiane. Chris,
from Switzerland, was also spending some extended time in northern Thailand. He's retired and is traveling where he feels like exploring and staying as long as he likes a place while getting to know the people.
I stayed at a great little renovated colonial inn, which is still under the radar of the travel guide books. My room had high ceilings, broad beamed floors, a ceiling fan, cable TV, free wi-fi and a large bathroom. It was very comfortable and the European breakfast with French press coffee was great, all for $30.
I wouldn't be alone for long as 5 other AWC members were also spending a day and night in Vientiane before we started the English camp weekend. On my own the first day, I had lunch at the small restaurant called Makphet. . I'd been to the branch in Phenom Penh a few years ago and new I'd find delicious food while supporting a great restaurant training program for local youth. I was not disappointed as I ate there 3 times during my two day stay in Vientiane.
The English Camp weekend started on Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. We had about 35 volunteers and
over 100 girls that are enrolled in the program in schools located in northern Thailand. Most arrived with their School Advisor or English Teacher. It was an event packed weekend with little time to rest. We start out by assigning girls to groups which they stay in all weekend while going to different classrooms for English Learning activities. It was an amazing experience and I look forward to going next year with Dennis in early November again. Let me know if you'd like to participate as it's a fantastic cultural experience.
Tot: 0.117s; Tpl: 0.048s; cc: 9; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0153s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb