Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thailand 2012 - Post 7 (The Final Blog)

Our last night in Chaing Mai we went to a restaurant on a boat!
Oh did I love it. It was a perfect time to relax on the water, enjoy the fantastic food, and pick each others brains about how the experience has been so far, and what our plans will be upon our return. We swapped book titles, documentary recommendations, shared many laughs and reminisced about the time we spent together. 
It was our last night with JK and we said goodbye to our translator that had served us very well during the trip. We all gave him hugs which we know made him feel awkward, but we didn't care. We went to another night market (not a touristy one - one the residents go to) and then headed back to the hotel and packed up. Heading from the restaurant to the market and then back to the hotel I rode with JP on a motorbike which was a super fun time!The next day we flew back to Bangkok, hit up a market (where I got a wonderful dress!!), went to restaurant, then it was time for some of our team to head back to Canada.
I'm not really good with good byes....but I guess that depends what you classify as "good". For example, I'm not really emotional so I don't get all "Oh, I'm so sad, I'm going to miss you!" In fact, when people cry at goodbyes, it makes me feel really awkward... what am I supposed to do? On the other hand, I act pretty calm and collected about the whole thing. We had fun, we made memories, It would be nice to continue on in this country together, however it is time to go home. Let's just keep in touch and be pumped about the next time we see each other.
As people were leaving and saying their good byes, it was hard to acknowledge this journey coming to an end. I love Thailand. I want to stay.

We had an extra day so we took advantage of being somewhere we never thought we would be and adventured about Bangkok! We went to the Grand Palace and visited all the temples, saw the giant golden Buddha, and went to a mall with over 2,000 shops. It was a great, relaxing day before we started our 24 hours of travelling home.

As we arrived at the airport and started loading one of our planes, I was sitting down and noticed the gentleman in front of me looking through his camera at pictures. You know those moments when you don't mean to be looking but you are because it's in the only direction you can look? That's what happened. On his camera he was looking at pictures of himself (this older white dude), with young Asian girls. After what we had done on our trip it was so hard to see! Pictures become an endless way to relive an experience after you come home from the adventure. We take hundreds of pictures so we can show people what we did and the places we went to. We take pictures of any memorable moment in hopes we can share the pictures with friends and family, and explain with the same excitement what the experience was like. When I look through my camera, I see the bright faces of the children we worked with, the people we call Heroes, the ones who are making a difference. I see pictures of food, the friends I made, the places we went and pictures of things I never thought I would ever see. When that guy is looking at pictures, he is reliving the experience he had....who will he show those pictures to? His buddies that think he's  "The Man"? Would he show his family if he has one? His wife? Kids? Would he share them with his co-workers? 
It is hard to swallow that people come to such a beautiful place and do the ugliest things. No pictures, no matter how beautiful of a place you were in, can turn a trip for an ugly reason into something worthy of sharing.
This has been such an amazing experience. I feel so blessed to have opportunities to become involved in things that are life changing for the people we help as well as well as us, the volunteers. I feel this is a perfect set up to the internship I will embark on with Not For Sale. Taking part in their Fellowship Program is going to be an amazing stepping stone to a life fully devoted to helping others.  Seeing how Not For Sale helps Kru Nam and to see the organization in action was inspiring and makes me so pumped!

While the trip to Thailand has come to an end, the life full of passion for those whose lives are effected by human trafficking and modern day slavery is just beginning and I am going to live it out the best I can. God is going to use me for great things and I believe this is one of those things.

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