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Published: August 4th 2008
He weighed 102 lbs!
I have to admit, over the last few days I've sat down to write and have come up with nothing. I wrote over and over again, but something was missing. I was ready to tell you all about how we went ziplining in the jungle high above in the canopy. I was excited to tell you that I rode on the back of an elephant and fed it with my own mouth. Or even how thrilling it was to go ATVing in the mountains of Chiang Mai. Even trying on the neck rings of a Hill Tribe woman seemed to be lacking the joy I thought would accompany it. All of it was fantastic, but when it comes down to it, nothing compares to the events of today.
We've been in a bit of a funk. We're tired, feel sick and lethargic. The constant planning of our next move and the hours of travel have caught up with us. We blame it on the train. We needed something, but what? How can you beat being attached to the top of a tree swaying in the breeze in the middle of the jungle, too high to even see the ground?
Flight of the Gibbons
The kid in the blue is starting at Tufts dental school in September. Small world!
I saw a brochure about Batik painting, and although I thought it would be worth taking, I wasn't sure how everyone else would feel. Luck must have been on my side, because as I was recovering from a rather difficult day, feeling dehydrated, the girls took it upon themselves to sign up and I woke this morning anxious to watch, learn and color.
Batik painting goes way back to 500AD and forms of it have even been found in the Egyptian tombs. Batik painting uses melted wax to outline a painting. The rest is painted with water colors, but the wax prevents the color from bleeding. You then have to soak the painting in a sugar solution, dry it, then boil it to peel off the wax. It was literally an all day process, but we all truly enjoyed getting in touch with our creative abilities. Painting was an escape from the daily tourist life and with Ann as our teacher we were able to REALLY see true Thai culture, not the culture put on display. We were in our first Thai house, with a homecooked Thai meal, talking about the Buddhist religion (which I am seriously interested in).
I'm not certain my words did the day justice. Maybe the pictures will help.
Just to clarify some concerns, the train we were on for 15 hours was very slow moving. We only traveled about 400 miles, the same distance it takes me to drive to Philly in about 6 hours. So, when I say the man jumped off, he remained on both feet and survived...no act of suicide. Also, Macaela and Courtney hanging out the window. The entire train was windows and open air. I even went in back to recreate one of the last scenes from "The Color Purple" where Whoopi throws gold coins off the back of the train, myself prepared to throw all the Skittle colors I refuse to eat, but when I realized I would easily fall off, I decided to just stash them away. This was no Amtrak train, in fact, what ever train you are imagining, it wasn't near as nice or as fast. Sorry for any confusion.
We are off tomorrow to Pie, a short three hour ride northwest of here. The trip is constantly evolving as we go and where we will end up is anyones guess. That's
The course consisted of: 2 skybridges, 3 drops, 13 ziplines
the fun of it, but the burden as well.
Hope you are all doing well back home. I'm so anxious to see everyone. Just two weeks left! I'm already thinking up ways to decorate my classroom with a bit of Thai culture and see which lessons I bring home, and which get lost on the journey.
Thanks for tuning in!
Thai Kho and Crew
PS Just to keep everyone in the loop, I am now looking into taking the following classes and you are all welcome to join me: photography class, painting class, auto mechanic school, and possibly piano or guitar. I was going to go for a language course to fufill my dream of being bilingual, but after visiting 11 countries and everyone speaking english, I may take it off my list. Let me know if you are interested or if you have any other ideas.
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