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July 28th 2008
Published: July 28th 2008
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Safely back in the Kingdom of Thailand. They really weren't kidding when they said it was a 14 hour bus ride, but if our bus driver was not a smoker and did not keep pulling over to take a few puffs, I'm certain we would have arrived at least 2 hours earlier.

We spent the first night back in a relatively more expensive room, about $15 each. We hadn't eaten ALL day and really wanted a good nights sleep. The next morning we showered, ate breakfast and hit the streets to find cheaper accomodations. After 10, yes 10 refusals, we found an adequate place close to where we stayed during our first visit to Bangkok, which seems like ages ago. I slept on top of my bug net as the sheets had holes in them and there was a small plastic bag when I turned down the covers. YUCK! I didn't sleep much anyways because I had an ice tea around 11PM and caffeine really does a number on me. I was just so thirsty and sick of drinking water that I sipped and sipped without giving it a thought. At about 4AM I settled in and was calm enough to get a few hours sleep.

We roamed aimlessly today, killing time until our evening dance show, a Thai cultural event. Christina arrives tomorrow evening so we haven't been to any of the "big" Bangkok places because we didn't want her to miss any of it. After her arrival we head north and we are ALL so looking forward to it. I have to keep an open mind about Thailand and not judge it on my Bangkok experience.

As we wait in Bangkok I find myself already missing Cambodia. I have never met such hard working, honest people. Bangkok is full of tourists and people grabbing at you to come buy something. It's just a big business full of people who want your money. Although I don't miss the begging that followed us in Cambodia, I miss the culture and the spirit of Cambodians. Their way of life is so simple and good natured. I truly feel they could teach us so much. We are so use to wanting and wasting and complaining. These people have NOTHING but each other, and yet they appear to be more at peace with their life than anyone I know. How can
Cambodian Children Painting ProjectCambodian Children Painting ProjectCambodian Children Painting Project

If I could have fit them, you ALL would have gotten a painting. There was one lucky winner though, without giving too many hints, it's a house warming present for a new Salem resident!
that be? Where did WE go wrong?

As you may have guessed, we are no longer going to Malaysia. Originally, it was the only place I wanted to go because of the canopy walk, one of three in the entire world. It is a country still in turmoil and at the moment taking their aggressions out on tourists, Americans to be specific. Oddly enough, when we were in Phnom Penh we were online making flight reservations so we could be in Malaysia this past week. I was about to add our passport numbers, the last step before flight confirmations, when we lost electricity and the entire city went black. We were too tired to do it all over again and decided to wait until the morning. That morning we met Tim, a fellow Vermont native with a high school leadership program. He recommended we go to the shores of Cambodia. Funny how things work out.

I've really been slacking on the pictures, so here is an array of what I've left out. Hope it's easy to follow along. Thanks for checking in on us!

~Thai Kho and Crew (I tried to get them to create Thai names
Kids PaintingKids PaintingKids Painting

So talented
but no such luck)

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


So ProudSo Proud
So Proud

I seriously want to take a painting class now. Anyone interested? I think it would be fun.
Mary, this Monk is for youMary, this Monk is for you
Mary, this Monk is for you

Funny thing, there are actually signs posted that read "Beware of Fake Monks". We saw one earlier today.
The JungleThe Jungle
The Jungle

We really didn't get much farther than this.
Little Garden BarLittle Garden Bar
Little Garden Bar

Barb feeds kids that hang out by her place, something we ddin't see ANYONE else do. He just came in, sat down, and someone brought him a bowl of noodles. He sat in silence until he was finished, then walked away. He could not have been more than 5.

I haven't gotten completely use to this, but I am getting better. Usually, we have "western" toilets.

28th July 2008

Deep breathe...
Ok, these pictures aren't too disturbing so I took a deep breathe! ~~aahhh~~ Although that toilet I could really do without and will not complain the next time I have to clean my 3 "real" toilets at home. I think I'd go the Jaclyn route if I were there -- diapers! haa haaaahhaa! Now the first picture of the bus.....tell me you sat inside and not on top for 14 hours??!? Do they get a discount if they are on top, tell me yes??!? Please burn the bug net upon exiting whatever country you leave when coming to the USA. We miss and love you, can't wait for the next blog. It really is a great summer read, totally enjoying it!! Grammy says I should "save these "letters" for your sister so when she gets home she can add them to her memoir!" I'm not sure if she thinks you are mailing me letters and apparantly she thinks you are writing a memoir?!?!? I don't know, take it as you want! Happy to know you showered too! Phew! xoxxoxoxoxoxoxo
28th July 2008

Are you having FUN YET !!!
I don't recall you ever saying you had FUN!!!!! I hope there is some fun along the way! I have heard that the beaches are beautiful. I'm watiing for a beach photo! Keep up the good work, and I hope you finally get a nice, clean, mice and bug free room soon! Love for now, Debbie
28th July 2008

I am amazed that the writing that you have taken pictures of are in English. I am sure there are a lot of signs that are not, but looks like you have come across a lot of people that speak it and write it. Makes things a lot easier for you. Sorry you are missing the canopy. But on the bright side, you have had a great time with the things that you have done. Keep up the great photos and stories.
28th July 2008

Hey Howell! Ok, so I just woke up and was very excited to have another update. I love when you include pictures...I just showed my mom the toilet, and I was thinking there is no way I could squat and "poop" in that. But then I thought maybe they wont' have to, but then I realized again you are away for 6 weeks! Did you take your malaria pills again? Are you sleeping and doing ok? ANy side effects? Be careful on your next adventure, oh and that yellow bus...did you take that for 14 hours? Did you sit on top? Be safe! Love Nicole :)
28th July 2008

Is 6 weeks over yet? I'm not one to rush the summer, but it feels like you have been gone for way too long already. Sounds as though you are having quite the experience! I can't wait to hear all the stories once you are home safe with a DD coffee in your hands! Miss you! Luv, Jen
28th July 2008

This blog of yours really stands up to a good book! I check it daily and look forward to your updates but I also just love Nicole's (sis) responses! I never knew you had to lay low from a drive by shooting. Nothing like Voorhess.....hopefully this traveling of yours won't keep you from Visiting NJ! I think my Mom and Marie would go through withdraw!
28th July 2008

Thank God You are not in Malasia!! Talk about fate! You are pulling at my heart strings with those pictures of the children in Cambodia, you should bring one home for me to take care of!
28th July 2008

Hey Kristin!!!
Hey girly, Thanks for all the updates. I've been reading your blogs every time you post them. I am learning so much through your stories. I can't wait to see you in person and hear everything that you experienced. You are def. a braver soul than I! Good luck with the rest of your journey and please stay safe.
28th July 2008

Hi...So happy you ran into Tim. Nice of the people to tell you to leave because of any uprisings..Hope you are far enough away from all of that. ..Did you ever think you would be having massages? That is about the only part of the trip I have enjoyed..How are everyones feet holding out?? I am sure they are pretty tired. So happy to hear about the shower..Love You Mom
28th July 2008

Kristin, didn't the bus driver stopping to smoke remind you of Carol And I stopping to pee?
28th July 2008

Kristin, didn't the bus driver stopping to smoke remind you of Carol And I stopping to pee?
28th July 2008

Kristin, didn't the bus driver stopping to smoke remind you of Carol And I stopping to pee?
28th July 2008

Living the dream through you!
Kris sounds like all is well. I hope your friend makes it there safely and that you all continue to enjoy this adventure and learn as you go. I am now all "on my own" and I have some good stories for you when you get back. Travel safe, be well and hurry home! xo, Mary p.s. I am STILL waiting for a picture of you all with the masks on...!!!
29th July 2008

Bangkok and Thailand
A note on Bangkok... Try to appretiate it for what it is...a huge city. People there have seen than their share of tourist over the last 20 years and are very well versed in making money from them. The only thing that really seperates it from Cambodia is that the Cambodians haven't fully been able to take advantage of tourism because all those years of the Khmer Rouge. If they had a choice they would rather make money from tourist than live impoverished lives unable to feed their children. No doubt that in another 10 years Cambodia will be a lot more like Thailand in that regard. The rest of Thailand is a slower pace than Bangkok and has much to offer. It will be difficult to get away from the endless touts and hawkers though, you will get used to it. If you manage to spend a little more time in the places you travel to, you will get to know a few more locals, like Barb, and it will be quite satisfying to know that not everyone just wants to make your money somehow. I have finally found a few people like that here in Legian and geting to know them has truely made me a better person. Teachers here make $20 a month and they have to pick up their students on the way to school in the morning I know that doing so is tough because you sacrifice seeing as many places. It is a tough balance but you'll find it!
29th July 2008

roaming around as usual
Hi, Well glad to hear that youmade it back safely. Well Christina is on her way and you should all be back to business. Roaming around strange places as usual right Kristin. Thanks for the photos. Keep us posted and know Iam thinking of all of you. It was an eye opening experience in Cambodia. We here don't know how luckywe are and soemtimes we complain becasue we can't buy evrything we want but do not necessarily need. It's life simple necessities that we all really only need. Pass it on to all the folks in the USA. Stay safe, thinking of you. Love Lucille

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