Madison, Shivanni, & I went to the Akha village this morning with Russell to help Aroon finish the volley ball nets/poles. We helped mix the cement & placing it in the tires. We mixed the cement with sand/dirt to make it go further. We had a lot of extra so we took it over to his home & he quickly made himself a sidewalk to his bathroom. Aroon is such a boss. His wife made us some different rice foods. One of them was basically smashed & fried rice that we ate with sugar & sweetened condensed milk. So good! Another was kinda like sticky rice but more sticky & condensed with peanuts that tasted like beans mixed in. The last one I tried was the weirdest of them all. It was like this rice goop. Seriously, it was the texture of putty. Weirdest thing. All of them kinda tasted like mochi. But not as sweet. Pretty good stuff. Especially the fried ones. After our snack we got lunch & headed home. Madison & I napped for almost three hours. We were so exhausted for some reason. Around 4 we were awoken & 5 minutes later in the truck back to Akha for dinner & swinging! Hopefully tomorrow we will get to dress up with them in their native clothing as part of their festival. Didn't end up happening tonight. Dinner was so yum though. As always. Haha We were first sitting outside but then a volunteer got stung by a wasp. He had warned us about the HUGE wasp nest in the tree outside of their house but unfortunately it still got her! So we moved inside. Later we looked up those bees & they are the "bees from hell" they call them. The worst bees to get stung by. She's tough but I think she's in a lot of pain still. David is going outside right now to get some dirt to rub on it. Apparently that helps.
Another good day!!
Today was such a chill day. Oh man, it was a good one! I went on a run this morning with my friends & it was blazing hot! Today was probably the hottest day since I've been here. Crazy how it can go from monsoon to blazing sun! So we went to the Akha village around 10. We watched them build a GIANT swing. You guys. It was the craziest thing watching them build this. They are so boss. It did not look safe going up but by the end somehow it worked & stood sturdy! So cool. Only guys were climbing up the branches to build it because first of all they don't like women to work unless it's a necessity for money. I think it's weird for them that there's all us girls here to do work! Haha so that's the first reason, but the second reason was because they believe the higher you are the closer you are to God. & for some reason they don't want the women doing that... So idk, sounds sexist to me. Aroon (Akha village leader) explained better but it didn't make much sense cause it was being translated. Even though he does speak very good basic English. Anyways, the swing is for their yearly swing festival. It's a tradition they do every year. Build the swing, celebrate, & eat. We will be joining them tomorrow for their festivities! I think they are getting traditional clothing for us to wear also! I'm excited. They are so sweet, they usually do the festival at the end of August but they wanted us to be here for it so they are doing it earlier. We played around on the swing a bit today as a pre warm up for tomorrow! You guys should have seen the kids faces when they all got home from school & saw it. So much screaming & running! They could play on it for hours. Aroon fed us lunch. Which was so yummy. It's always yummy when we eat at the villages! Except for fishy papaya salad day. Yeah, not that day. We then helped build a volley ball net for them. We used tires to hold the poles then mixed cement to pour in the tires to stabilize it. I'm realizing that tires are used for everything here! Haha finally around 4 we left. We were at Akha for a long time! Next stop was lahu. Short night there doing soccer & aerobics. But those kids never fail to wipe you out no matter how long you're there! Seriously, they are crazy kiddos!
Aroon, Madison, Melanie, Abby, Liz, Ellen
Please believe me when I tell you today was INSANE! I know what you're thinking, I say that everyday. But I promise you. Today was the most insane of them all! First off, we woke up to blue skies & the sun which was a miracle! Seriously. We thought for sure it was going to be rainy all day & our phi phi island trip would get cancelled again. But we were wrong! The best part is that the weather held up for us all day long!! We got really lucky! Anyways, we met at the dock at 9 am to catch our boat. It was a big speed boat & there were about 35 of us on it. Abby & I sat at the very front of the boat at the tip thinking we got the jackpot seats. We had NO idea what we were in for. The guide said to us before we left "Bumpy here, okay?" We responded, "Yeah! Okay!" Not okay. As soon as we started going we realized this was not going to be a smooth ride. THE WAVES WERE HUGE! & we were going so fast, water was splashing in our faces & we were getting like 3 feet of air off our seats! You know when you go boating & you hit a big wave & it bangs against the water & you think the boat is gonna break. Yeah that was this whole ride times 50!! It physically hurt & we felt like we were gonna fly out of the boat, plus I knew I would get sick up there so about 10 minutes in Abby & I waved to the guy & said we wanna move back where the majority of the people were all sitting. We stood up & could hardly walk strait to get back there & I hit my head against the wall. Haha (it's funny now) The boat ride to our first stop, bamboo island was a 40 minute ride. I probably said like 10 silent prayers in my head on the way there cause it was so scary! Nothing is more scary to me than being on a boat in the middle of the ocean on insane waters. I found that out today. Lol I guess the waters are just really rough this time of year. So next thing I know this man starts squirming for a bag & throws up, pretty soon like three more people start throwing up too. (Don't worry, all in bags) I felt fine, but I couldn't look cause I didn't want it to get to my head & make me sick! Finally, we made it to the island. We swam at the beach there for about 45 minutes before getting back in the boat to go the next island, phi phi lay island. This boat ride was probably just as intense, but only 15 minutes this time so it was a lot better! This island was the prettiest of them all! Such blue & calm waters (finally). We jumped off the boat & swam some more here. This place was so amazing! I couldn't believe how beautiful it was! We then made our way to another part of phi phi island for lunch. This was about a 10 minute boat ride. It was a little less intense which was great! We stayed on this island for about an hour & a half. I guess there is another island that was supposed to be included in the trip called maya bay but it was too dangerous to go to today. Which I was actually 100% fine with! Soooo we headed to our last stop for snorkeling. It was awesome. We fed the fish watermelon & we got some pretty sweet go pro pics. Oh yeah stay tuned for Abby's week four video. You'll see a lot of footage from today! Anyways, the tour guy found a sea urchin & let some people hold it. It was like a big black spike ball! Really weird lookin. Then we made our way back to rai lay (our hotel island) luckily no one got sick this time. It was abut a 40 minute ride back. For some reason it was probably the scariest ride for me because this time the boat was tipping a bunch & it seriously felt like it was going to tip over & we were all gonna fall out! Again, many silent prayers going on in my head at this point. When we made it to our island Abby & I wanted to start cheering & clapping! Seriously. We felt like we had just accomplished something huge! It was so funny to see people's faces lighten up every time we made it to our destination. Like this look of relief on every ones faces. Haha it was quite the experience! It took A LOT out of me. Even with all that craziness it was so amazing & 100% worth it! Such a good day! Probably one of my favorites. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see some of Thailand's islands & that the weather was good for us! Speaking of weather . Our flight back to Chiang Mai is tomorrow morning at 9. We didn't wanna have to leave super early in the morning to catch a boat to Krabi island then a bus to the airport, especially with the unpredictable weather. So we checked out today (a day earlier than what we paid for) & got a hotel in Krabi about 10 minutes from the airport. Which I'm so glad we did!! More money, but less stressful. Plus the hotel we are at right now is the best ever! Super nice. Abby & I are very pleased. We went to the street market & got some dinner & now we're relaxing in our room. Today was a FAB day & our Krabi Thailand trip ended on such a great note!
Oh yeah, Abby got the funniest thing on recording today from an "incident" that happened on the boat. You guys are going to die! I did. I'll send vid soon :)
Today was another rainy day on Rai Lay island. It's rained, actually, it's poured NON STOP pretty much since we've gotten here. There's been a few breaks here & there but I've never seen it rain so hard & so consistently before in my life! Seriously, it's crazy. I woke up several times last night because of the rain & thunder. I was a bit terrified to say the least. But I'm okay! I think this is normal for this time of year I've just never seen anything like it! Monsoon season is crazy! & it's not even prime time yet. I think the main monsoon season is September to December or something so I'm glad I won't be here during that. Haha! Oh yeah, our phi phi island trip got cancelled. I'm SO sad. They said if it's better weather tomorrow we can go then. Buuuuuut I'm not counting on it. I really am kinda bummed about it. That's the main thing I wanted to do here in the south & I'm not gonna be able to. Oh well. So after we found out about that we kinda had a lazy morning in our hotel room cause there's not much you can do on this island with all this rain. Ha Abby fell asleep & I wanted to make the best out of my time here so I left & walked down the beach for a minute, got a mango smoothie, & then swam in the pool! It was so fun! I was literally the only soul out. There was no one on the beach & no one in the pool. It was actually a very cool experience for me. Sounds weird, but I just felt so content. It was POURING RAIN & I was all by myself. Just me in the water, getting splashed in the face from all directions. It was amazing actually. The only reason I got out was because I saw a huge palm tree branch fall off a tree & it freaked me out so I went back to the hotel room. lol! Later in the day Abby & I got a Thai massage. Let me tell you, this was a LEGIT Thai massage. The last one we got in Chiangmai was very professional, with real massage tables & all. But this one was a liiiiiiittle bit different. I almost liked it more. I just laid down on a mat on the floor & the lady went crazy! I didn't know my body could pop so much! It felt amazing! She was seriously sitting on me at some points, using her feet & whole body to manipulate mine. I was trying not to laugh out loud at some points. I just couldn't help myself it was too funny! Anyways, that was a great time. Oh & it was only 8 bucks for an hour, score!
They eat weird things for breakfast here. So I was happy to find some normal morning foods. There is a small serving of mashed potatoes on my plate though cause why not.
Today it poured ALL DAY! Monsoon season is at its prime right now. This is the hardest I think I've ever seen it rain. But it's okay cuz it didn't stop Abby & I from going on a beach run, swimming in the ocean, & walking the street market. We just got drenched every other hour. Nbd, we're just embracing it cause we're in Thailand! The ocean water is so warm & the sand is so soft. We ran barefoot. Just cross your fingers that the weather holds up for our phi phi island tour tomorrow!
Today has been such a crazy day! To start off, we had our flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi. About two hours. I mentioned we stayed the night at the airport before our flight. Yeah, longest night ever! It was freezing cold & we were curled up across chairs trying to get some shut eye. Unsuccessful. Nights at the airport are always bad news. When we got to Krabi we took a shuttle to the boat dock where we had to wait out a storm. A huge & sudden storm blew in from out of nowhere. It was down pouring. We waited at a restaurant for it to pass. Finally, about an hour & a half later it was "calm" enough to go. But not really. It was still rainy & the waves were huge, but they said it was okay. I was seriously terrified. We walked out in the water thigh deep to our boat in the rain. People had their suitcases & all. It was kinda hilarious. Inside I was just like "WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!?" The whole ride over I was so terrified inside. I'm hesitant to send the videos of it because it doesn't do it justice, but trust me, it was so intense. The waves were huge & we were in the middle of the ocean. All I could think was how if anything goes wrong were all gonna drown in this storm. I had to stop looking at the guide controlling the boat because I was trying to read him the whole time. Seeing if he was calm or concerned. It didn't help, only made me freak out more because he usually looked concerned. I think that was just his face though. Lol. The boat ride was about 20 minutes, we finally made it to rai lay island & it is so beautiful! The south is like a totally different country. I feel like I'm on a tropical vacation now! It's so fun! Since we didn't get any sleep last night, when we first got to our room we passed out for like 4 hours & I'm still tired. I'll get some good sleep tonight so that we can party hard tomorrow!
This morning we helped the preschool kids at the akha village plant their vegetable garden & hand print paint the tree for the mural. They were so cute! That's literally the only thing I did today in Fang because then we (Abby, Mckenzie, Courtney, & I) left on the bus for Chiang Mai around 3. Courtney & Mckenzie are twins & kinda do their own thing so they went to their hotel, so it's just Abby & I. We went to the mall & got food. Yes, we had mango sticky rice for dessert. Then we got our nails done! Pedicure for only 7 bucks, sweet! They are so good here too! My feet have never looked better! I accidentally spilt the nail polish EVERYWHERE though. The lid wasn't on tight & I picked it up & it splattered across the floor. Oops. Abby & I are just chillin' at the airport now. Our flight to Krabi is at 6:30 am. It's 10:15 pm right now! Ugh. We're staying the night here so we don't have to pay for a hotel. It shouldn't be too bad,
I introduced Abby to these suckers the first day in Thailand. She's been addicted ever since.