By: Spencer Luczak

Blogging… definitely a first for me.  Back home I go by Spencer Luczak but on our excursion I am occasionally referred to as ‘Stallion’.  Usually my reflections of life are posted in a personal journal or fluffed up for an assignment given out at school.  However, there is something about being in a foreign environment where nobody is in their comfort zone that causes me to be open with my thoughts without reservation.  My entry for today, although simple in essence, I hope will give others a feeling for the innate love that children posses.

During our time spent painting and playing with the village children at their school in Kalasin I was caught off guard by the tenderness of a young boy and the tenured love of his on-looking mother.  While the time we spent collectively designing  t-shirts for each student strengthened our bond between the children, I found the actual giving of the gifts to be most enlightening.  My intellect told me that the young boy who I would give my shirt to would not fully appreciate what was being done for him, but that is exactly where Continue reading “Reflections….”

Hser Ner Moo Reflection

By: Lindsey Dunlap

After Volunteering at the Hser Ner Moo Center and going on the Mayterm Thailand trip, I have realized that an individual does not have to go out of the country to understand that we also have problems in our own backyard. I think that a lot of people think that it’s only the third world countries that experience poverty, poor health, and lack of accessibility to health care. Volunteering at a place such as Hser Ner Moo doesn’t just open your eyes to new ideas of how to help, or where to help, but it really makes you wonder why we don’t address these problems at a higher volume. And these problems don’t just exist in the refugee camps here in the United States, but everywhere. This is where I tend to get stuck on where to start or how to even go about helping.

In the United States we tend to focus on the issues of other countries rather than on our own soil, which only makes problems worse. For some reason, “us Americans” feel Continue reading “Hser Ner Moo Reflection”

Thai Phrasebooks

The Thai language is a unique language, only spoken in Thailand and not closely related to any other language with the exception of Lao. It has some unique grammar, 5 tones, and a very unique alphabet, making it a very difficult language to learn for Westerners. What gets me are the tones. You can say they same sound in 5 different tones, and they can mean 5 completely different things. And tones are subtle to us Westerners. A subtle raising of the tone to emphasize a point in English can alter the entire meaning of a sentence in Thai.

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Thailand Travel Guide Books

Before you go this summer, do yourself a favor and get a guidebook.  And peruse it before you go.  They have lots of suggestions and recommendations, and if they are from a good guidebook, they are typically spot on.  And the sections on culture, history, arts, etiquette, geography, weather, etc. are invaluable.

There are a ton of guidebooks, from a variety of publishers, including FodorsRough GuideMoon, and a host of smaller publishers.  I am partial to Lonely Planet.  The audience that they write for seems to be spot on with the type of travel I enjoy (going on a budget, exploring on our own, independent of tourguides and tour companies, going to out-of-the-way places where typical tourists are scarce, using local transportation, etc).  Fodors seems to be targeting a more upscale traveller, and Rough Guides seems to target the backpacker crowd.  Lonely Planet seems to be in a nice medium.  (By the way, these websites have a LOT of good information for travellers, so they are definitely worth perusing.)

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