I’m sad to have to do this, but I feel like it’s part of an inevitable journey. Tonight, I’ll be boarding a train that will drop me off in Bangkok at about 6:30 tomorrow morning.
It’s been a fantastic summer. Sure there have been ups and downs, like any two-month period of time, but I much prefer weaving my bike between tuk-tuks and grilled banana carts, trying countless new fruits, and spending time with adorable children over faxing papers for the State of Illinois.
There’s quite a difference between Bangkok and Nongkhai, Nongkhai’s a relaxed, riverside town (explained to me as “the South” of Thailand, even though it’s in the Northeast) while Bangkok is a whole lot of hustle and bustle. But I’m up for the challenge.
Working with Isara has been great though. I’ve been able to teach English (and somewhat improve my nonexistent English-teaching skills over the course of two months), donate helmets, help bring about environmental awareness, and at least learn more about the bureaucracy that plagues developing nations (to say nothing of our own).
I’ve also tried so many new foods, become aware of a new culture so different from my own (I’m still working on my wai), and I’ve made new friends. People around town, unaffiliated with Isara even recognize me. My favorite dessert here – roti, a Carnation condensed milk-drenched version of Indian bread, has become almost a staple in my diet, and the lady who makes the roti, Mai, even knows me. We all joke that I’m in love with her because her roti is so amazing. I went last night to get my last roti, and she said that she’d make me a special something, since it was my last night here. She made me my favorite (and she knew what it was without even asking!), roti with sliced banana inside, and gave it to me for free. I got a picture with her, her husband, and her adorable, babbling 3 year-old daughter, Amina to commemorate the countless minutes I spent patiently and eagerly awaiting my hot, delicious roti at her cartside.
But I digress.
This has summer has been unlike any summer for me (although that’s something that you could have easily guessed on your own), and I’m truly thankful to Ming and Kirk at Isara for letting me help them this summer.
I’m not sure how often you’ll see updates from me for the next two weeks, but hopefully you’ll be able to see my tweets – @jordanhw.
I’ll be in Bangkok for a day before I journey to Cambodia, where I’ll spend n undecided amount of time, before returning to Bangkok on a bus, exiting that bus, and going directly to another bus, bound for Krabi, in southern Thailand. Seriously, just google Krabi.
So with that being said, sawadee kaa, Nongkhai! (“Sawadee” functions like “aloha” – meaning both “hello” and “goobye”.) You’ll always be in my hua chai and I’ll miss you!