May Term Thailand is a unique experience that cannot be replicated. It might sound cliché, but it is a life-changing experience for participants. That said, this isn’t a trip for everyone. There are some things that you will experience on the trip that may be difficult for some. But most who’ve been on this trip will agree with me when they say that these only add to the overall experience. Here are some things to be aware of:
It’s hot on this trip. I mean really hot. Utahns are, of course, used to high temperatures. What Utahns are NOT used to is the humidity. It can be overbearing. You sweat, and the sweat doesn’t evaporate, since the air around you is so moist. That makes you sweat more, and makes you even hotter. During the evening hours, this can be even more uncomfortable. We compensate for this by scheduling outdoor activities around the early morning and late afternoons, with a “siesta” during midday hours, particularly in the villages. When we stay in hotels, they are all air conditioned, and the vans we travel in are also air conditioned. Most of the homes we stay at in the first village have fans in them, and the second village is in the mountains and is pretty cool during the evening. That said, be prepared to be really hot and sticky!
Bugs! Bugs Everywhere! Continue reading What to Expect During May Term Thailand
Some photos from our fundraiser dinner, held on Friday, March 7. We raised over $7,000 for projects in Northern Thailand. Thank you for everyone who made it a success!
Continue reading Photos from the Fundraiser Dinner
Before we leave we want you to read two articles.
What we don’t talk about when we don’t talk about service by Adam Davis provides some good questions to ask yourself about why you do service and what you get out of it. Throughout the experience we will be questioning who is benefiting? And how are they benefiting? It will be important that we ask ourselves this in a variety of places, with different people, and with different types of service. You will be writing in your journal about this and we will have at least one group discussion on this topic.
Adam Davis essay
This reading by Elizabeth Lynn and Susan Wisely offers a broad theoretical framework for considering service. Service can benefit a person or community in a variety of ways. Some are more sustainable than others. This reading enables us to identify the type of work being done and provides some indications about ways to move forward. We will be writing about this in our journals and discussing it at each service site.
4 Traditions of Philanthropy
Family and friends of May Term Thailand participants have asked us many questions about this trip. Questions such as what we’re going to do, how we’re going to stay safe and healthy, and why we’re going to Thailand are some of what is asked of me. These are very important questions for friends and family, knowing that we’re going so far away to a country that is so different. So to answer some of these questions, I have compiled a little FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) post here. If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment on this post, and I can answer those questions as well.
What is the purpose of this course? Why do we do this?
Continue reading May Term FAQ’s for Family and Friends
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.
Continue reading Thai Phrasebooks
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 Fodors, Rough Guide, Moon, 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.)
Continue reading Thailand Travel Guide Books