Lighting lanterns

The best weekend ever!!!!
For new years weekend we did so many things! On Saturday we rode elephants, oxen carts and went on a river raft ride.
Then we celebrated new years! A couple of friends and I walked around a night market in Chiang Mai and watched the count down in the city where there were fireworks and a lot of people. We met two English women who had been traveling on their sabbatical for two months and had another month left still!
My favorite part of he new year was lighting off the paper lanterns. There was a sign on the street that said something like they take away all of the bad things in life but they also lift up prayers for the new year. It might sound cheesy, but when I let the lantern go it was the happiest feeling that I have had since I got here. It was probably because I have never done it before but it was an experience like no other. The rest of the night we enjoyed watching the distant floating lights rise up all around us in the night sky.
Celebrating new years in Thailand was an experience to remember. Even though we are here to study healthcare and families, I think that the things that I experience outside of academia push me to learn more about the people that I interact with. Celebrating the new year among the Thai people makes me want to learn more about their lives and more about what makes Thailand so great.

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