By: Joe Caesar & Cera Cantu
Preparation for the parade started early in the morning around 6. The theme of the day was patience. We had to wait to be called for makeup and hair to be done by some of the villagers. Once we were dressed we had to wait for the parade. All of us crowded into a house in the village to get our makeup done. There were village children there that wanted to play with us. They stole a lot of cellphones and took a lot of pictures. When we got our phones back we all had hundreds of pictures of the kids and all of us that the kids had taken. Continue reading Parade Day
By: Amanda Phillips and Kenzie Mitchell
When we arrived in Kalasin we found out who was going to be the royalty in the parade. The first king and queen pair was Mary and Justin the cute couple of our trip. The second pair was me, Amanda, and Greg. Our elephant driver was Tyler. The five princesses were Lisa, Sarah Pierson, Sarah Schafer, Teal, and me, Kenzie. The morning of the parade we went to the government building and waited to get ready. We had two stylists who trimmed our eyebrows, primped our faced and got us all dolled up. Between bright purple lipstick, drawn on eyebrows, and more concealer than any of us had worn in our lives we were told not to sweat or touch our faces…It’s harder than it sounds!
Wardrobe began with nude colored leotards for all, boys included! Then we were dressed in beautiful sarongs, big hair pieces, and lots of gold jewelry, any girls dream! As the parade began we encountered some difficulties with getting on our floats and not unraveling our sarongs. I thought I had it rough until I looked up and saw Amanda attempting to get on top of a ten foot tall elephant float.
It was fun smiling and waving to all the villagers as we went by. It was cute to see all the kids who were so excited to see us, and would walk beside our floats the whole way down. When we arrived at the end of the parade we watched some dance performances concluding with our hairdressers all dressed up themselves and doing a funny skit dance where Greg accidentally knocked off one of their wigs. After that we took loads of pictures with all the villagers and then back to the government building to take off our royal attire. The parade was so much fun and it was such a great experience to be a part of this villages culture and traditions. And at the end of the day besides our hairdressers shaving off half our eyebrows we came out of this awesome experience unscathed!
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….
By: Ellie Coleman and Lindsey Dunlap
I recently took up running and on June 25th I’ll run my first half marathon. I was pretty stressed out about whether or not I would be able to train in Thailand and was pleasantly surprised to see a red dirt road upon our arrival to Kalasin. In our five days there I was able to run three times, but it wasn’t easy. I had to wake up at 5 a.m. and the air was thick and humid.
Continue reading A Mile is a Mile
By: Carson Chambers and Zoe Sirivejachipan
Since we’ve been in Thailand, we’ve experienced a wide array of subcultures within the country. Within each unique area, we have been exposed to a variety of subtle differences and similarities. All humans have to deal with the not-so-glamorous issue of waste – what do we qualify as waste? How do we dispose of it? How will it affect one’s culture and environment? So far we’ve been to two different rural villages, the big city of Bangkok and a tourist island and how waste is dealt with.
I first started to notice the differences in how the people of Kalasin deal with trash after breakfast on our first day. We (the Westminster crew) ate, left some trash scattered around, piled our plates with plenty of leftover food scraps, and started talking about plans for the day. But what was going to happen to the plastic bottles, left over scrambled egg and oatmeal packets? In the United States, once our trash is in a garbage can, it’s taken care of and out of our lives. But what about in Kalasin where there are no landfills, garbage trucks or recycling centers?
Continue reading Waste Not Want Not
By: Jane Dahle, Alexa Ferdig and Rob Caesar
Sunday May 8. 2011 Westminster College had the great honor of attending the yearly parade hosted by Kalasin to call upon the rain gods to bless their villages for water during the farming season. This was an incredible event to experience from two different standpoints that include the farmers and the royal family. Janie had the honor of playing the role of one of the four princesses while Alexa joined the majority of our May Term group in performing a traditional Thai dance while playing the role of a farmer. Both are of great importance in properly praying for rain and fertile lands for the amazing people of Kalasin. Describing this experience is hard to do but we will do our best to express the incredible atmosphere and significance of this parade to local people.
Continue reading Rain Dance
By: Siri Wieringa and Kaylene Moulton
Today we went to the Learning Center in the village where there was a welcome ceremony. From Kaylene’s view point, there is no need for words to communicate. Although it would be a lot easier, I believe I connected with some of the Children on a whole different level. The children were very accepting of us being in the school and were so happy to see us. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved and welcomed by complete strangers. From Siri’s perspective, the learning center is the focal point of the entire village. The school provides a happy and secure environment that can build individuals who can help this village to survive.
Even though there is a language barrier, we found ways to communicate and connect with the children of the Learning Center and our host families. It seems that nonverbal communication could be more powerful than verbal communication. We were encouraged to play with the children and were immediately accepted. When I first walked into the school and sat on the floor with the children, this boy immediately came and sat in my lap. Even though we couldn’t speak to each other I felt so welcomed and so much more comfortable. With my host family, they do not speak any English and I believe that it has made us closer. We will try to speak to each other, especially the younger daughters, and since we can’t we look at each other really confused then just start laughing.
Continue reading The Learning Center