Donavon, outbound to Thailand

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Time is moving way too fast for me, hopefully it slows down, but I feel like the next time I blink it will be the end of June and my wondrous journey will soon be complete My life here in Thailand so far has been very interesting, I say this because every day there is always something new, something unknown, and something to learn about this fascinating country of smiles. As soon as I arrived to my host city of Roi-Et on August 13th, 2016, I was greeted with gleaming smiles and the sound of the foreign language I had been study prior to my exchange. There was a barrage of photos that were taken by two of my three host families. I absolutely adore my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd host families. I see them all together almost every week because of their constant devotion and affiliation with Rotary. I am so grateful that they involve me in, not only in their Rotary club meetings, but the service projects they do as well. They have so many goals and aspirations to help support, give back to, and upraise the community one donation at a time, be it scholarships to the local school or donations to give to the various temples around Roi-Et Province.

School is so fun and exciting. I have made so many friend at school and in general, through Rotary a d the various places I visit. I have friends that want me to teach them English and likewise they would be willing to teach me Thai. I attend the #1 school of Roi-Et Province, Roi-Et Wittayalai. Here in this school there are so many interesting and new subjects, that we don’t have in the States such as Korean Language, Traditional Thai Dancing, and Thai Extensive Law Studies. Since there are only two exchange students in my school, including me, we go to our first few classes and then around noon we learn the Thai consonants, vowels, and how to read and write. Since I have been going to this Thai Language class, it has made me think how interestingly difficult this language is, but I’m learning it slowly. By my second in Thailand, I was able to read Thai, thanks to the amazing teachers that teach me every weekday. A goal of mine is to have a sufficient knowledge of the Thai Language before I depart from this magnificent country.

The food here is so delicious, news, and flavorful. I have eaten so many things, I cannot begin to recall all of them, but one thing I know is that the majority of them were appeasing to me. I have eaten weird items such as bugs. Coincidentally my host sister gave them to me on my first day of school to celebrate my entrance. It was an interesting and funny experience.

During my second month in here I was out of school due to the higher grades taking midterm exams. I spent majority of my time at home, interacting with my host mom, who I have come to love dearly. We talk to each other (even though we do not quite understand each other sometimes), drink coffee, and cook. She has proved to be an amazing and providing first host mom. The other activities that I kept myself occupied with were Rotary based events such as going to local colleges and giving out scholarships, going to nearby temples and gifting them with monetary donations, and lastly by going to inner city high schools and middles schools explaining what Rotary is and stands for and how the students can be a part of the Interact and Youth Exchange programs. Other activities I did with my very awesome host family were we went to a famous and very stunning temple, Phra Maha Chedi Chai Monkol, the biggest temple in Roi-Et Province. The temple was absolutely beautiful, full of gold, and detail ed architecture and design, also we explored the border city of Thailand and Laos, Mukdahan. It was a great adventure and I truly enjoyed every moment of it. 

My third month in Thailand was the best so far. In this month all 25 of District 3340’s exchange students including myself took a trip to Phu Kradueng National Park. We hiked to the peak of the mountain which was 1,316 meters or 4,318 feet. On this trip I met the most amazing friends. Now that we have we all bonded as one, we have become a new family, and we now are a support system for each other, which is very important to have on exchange.

I am extremely happy and content in this country that I now call my home. I have met so many people, made so many new friends, through Rotary and school, and I have been given so many great opportunities to experience and enjoy this new country and all it has to offer. I am so very grateful to everyone who helped me and guided me to prepare for this journey. I am adjusting very nicely to my new home and I can't wait for more adventures to unfold.