Mya, Outbound to Thailand

It’s almost 5 months since I’ve come to Thailand and so much has happened in that time. In October I had my first Thai Halloween which is more just costumes and for adults. My Thai friends took me to a haunted house which was honestly not that scary but fun until we got lost figuring out where to go. Still real fun and afterwards we went to a street market to eat food I hadn’t tried before.

In November, it was my first Thanksgiving without my family, but I didn’t really feel homesick. I did miss my family a little more than usual and I found out that they don’t eat turkey in Thailand. At all, really. In November I experienced my first Thai Loi Krathong. Loi Krathong happens during the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar and is celebrated to show respect to the river Goddess. Chiang Mai celebrates Loi Krathong longer than other towns as they typically celebrate for only a day or two. Chiang Mai celebrates for 3 days filled with festivals, lanterns, and positive wishes. For Loi Krathong I celebrated with my Thai friends who took me to put my banana flower float (meant to represent the previous years bad luck) in the river (to wash away the bad luck and bring in good fortune). They also took me to release lanterns and visit the temple to pray for a good new year.

December was my busiest month. I went to Chiang Rai (a province more north from Chiang Mai) with other YE for a few days. At Chiang Rai we visited the white temple, blue temple, hill tribe people, and Hinoki land (Japanese theme park). It was all so fun to see and experience. During the month of December my school had a big end of the year play. It was really cool to see the process of who gets picked to be in the plays and how everything is created from scratch. For anyone in the play it was a huge honor to be included since you are meant to represent the school’s pride in being a performing arts school.

I was a little homesick during Christmas time, especially the morning of Christmas day, but my school had a lot of fun activities for Christmas. It made me feel much less homesick. In the morning my school had a fun day with a play about the birth of Jesus, a Christmas tree contest, a fashion show, and many prize drawings. I also handed out candy canes to everyone to show my thanks and Christmas spirit.

For New Years countdown, I went with my Thai friends to a night market near the center of Chiang Mai where we ate and walked around before counting down to the new year. It truly was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. As we were counting down, there were paper lanterns lighting up the night sky, fireworks in the background and people around me laughing and excited for the new year. I’m so happy to have brought a new year in Thailand. I’m so excited and grateful for what’s to come in 2019.

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