notes from thailand (3)

The past two days have been a little more relaxed, nevertheless I am still pretty tired. As an introvert the constant socialising might be taking a bit of a toll but it isn’t actually as bad as I would have once expected. I am getting better at being in crowds and making conversation! Yay!

Yesterday morning we left the hotel bright and early and rode to a school in a village. As it is still school holidays here, the students came just to see us! We gave them small gifts and took some photos. We also saw the clean water project, which is a Rotary project (hence our visit).

After this we travelled to a temple. The temple itself was high on a hill and we parked down below, so some of us bravely decided to climb the thousand stairs to the temple. It was around midday, the sun was just so hot, it was humid, there wasn’t any breeze at all. Finally we made it. We didn’t visit the temple but we looked at the view. It was a very tall hill and down on the other side was the ocean, it was very beautiful.

We made our way to a large dam afterwards, which was surrounded by a big park, and had lunch there. After this we made our ways to Boystown. Boystown is another project that many Rotary club all over the globe (including mine) have supported. It is basically a farm where disadvantaged boys live. These disadvantaged boys are selected based on their … disadvantageness, if we can call it that. Usually if they are very poor and if their family cannot afford school, then they are selected. They receive around 300 applications every year but can only take up to 48 students IF there is enough budget.

The thing is that they are really struggling financially at the moment because their main source of funding is coming to an end or something like that. They try to keep the costs to a minimum: the boys run the farm on their own; they even sell the products at the local market; there are only 2 main staff; Rotary has provided them with a well for clean water and solar panels to keep the bills low … but the main big cost is for the boys. Although education in Thailand is free, they still have to pay for uniforms, books and other education-related thing, and it adds up. This is where Boystown is struggling and they are looking for people to sponsor their boys. If you are interested let me know! 🙂

So anyhow, we met this man who apparently always says he is 80 years old so no one really knows his age. He has been working at Boystown ever since it first began, 28 years ago. Because of the very tight budget he is now working there as a volunteer. I very quickly had immense respect for him. Not just because of all the selfless work he had been doing over so many years, but just because he had the best character ever. He was smiling, cheerful, and so very kind. As soon as you meet him you know you can trust him. That is the sort of person he is.

Upon our arrival at Boystown we got given a tour of the property and at 6pm we had dinner. A few other Rotarians joined us, including the assistant district governor. A few speeches were made from the important Rotarians and then everyone in my club had to introduce themselves. During our trip to Thailand, every main Rotary project we have visited we have given a boomerang as a souvenir. Last night was my time to present it so I introduced myself last so that I could present the gift.

So I said my name, that I was a musician, and that I was sorry we couldn’t have the party they had planned because of their King’s death. Then I invited that man (the one I wrote about just before) to the front where I was standing, and I explained what a boomerang was and that my club will support Boystown when we can and that when I become president I will put it on the agenda. Then I wanted to express how grateful I was for meeting him because he truly is such a selfless and inspirational person, but I was getting tears in my eyes and I found it harder and harder to speak!!!!

It was a bit of an emotional speech but later that night pretty much everyone in my club said it had been a very good one, that it came from the heart … One of them now calls me “Drama princess” (she is the drama queen, lol). So that was interesting. But yes, that man. I have no words for it. He is just amazing.

This morning was fairly quiet and relaxing until 10am, when we left Boystown and visited two temples before having lunch. We then went to do a bit of shopping and came to the hotel where we are staying for tonight. I had a swim in the pool, Skyped with mum and then got ready for the evening: drinks and dinner with our sister club (with whom we had dinner on Wednesday).

I actually had quite a bit of fun tonight! 😀 Especially after the dinner when we were all sitting at the table talking about whatever. Actually we sort of laughed a lot about the forgetfulness of our club president (he wasn’t around when we talked about this of course). The number of times he thought he’d forgotten or lost something is just unbelievable that it makes us laugh. But maybe it isn’t as funny as it seems and it’s got more to do with his age and getting old …? :/ Still, we laughed until we had tears.

And then the international director found this picture of a huge prawn on Facebook and showed it to us and we were like, “how can a freaking prawn be so huge?” and we agreed it was probably photoshopped but still, our reaction to seeing the image was just hilarious!!! We also had a laugh about the word “prawnography” which is a term the president elect said when the international director asked him to look at the photo. And then just listening to “Drama Queen” being her usual self, using all these weird expressions we don’t know where she gets them from (she is originally Thai) … she was talking about wearing a nice dress and “full furniture” and me and the immediate past president looked at each other like, “what the hell is that???” LOL. And just the way she addresses other people and what she tells them – just so funny. She was talking about how me and those few other people climbed the stairs to the temple and then she was like, “full body sweat!” and the international director went, “who??” and she points at him and goes, “you!!!” lol she has no shame, that woman. It’s hilarious 😛

She is actually two years younger than my mum I believe but hell she does not look it or even feel it. I guess that’s because my mum’s got Parkinson’s and everything …

So anyhow, two more nights in Thailand including tonight!!

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