Post by Casey Peyton

Greetings from Chaing Mai! First of all, I will start off where my last blog left off. On friday our group toured a local mental health hospital. I was surprised how modern their facilities were in comparison to the rest of the city. A patient played the piano for our group, he used to be a piano teacher and he delighted us with The Swan, and a composition by Beethoven. It was nice to see their utilization of crafts and music in their treatment and therapies. A common problem that the healthcare facility had, which slightly coincided with an American problem, was that they had a strong negative stigma associated with the mentally ill. Also, the public funding used for healthcare has seemed to place psychiatric care at the bottom of the totem pole. This causes many problems for patients seeking care and for facilities trying to provide the best care possible.

Later on Friday we toured the Chaing Mai University Facility of Nursing. Here we attended a lecture/discussion about Thailand’s HIV/AIDs situation. This was extremely informative. It seems that the data that they provided us showed a direct relation between mandatory testing and occurrence reduction. Thailand’s actions in response to their HIV/AIDs situation has positive outcomes that could be copied by many other countries.

On Saturday we rode Asian elephants, bamboo rafted down a Thai river, and hiked to a waterfall in the jungle. This excursion was amazing and I am so happy that I decided to participate in it. That day will always be held very highly in my memory. Saturday also happened to be News Years Eve. We lit lanterns and made wishes, and we attended a countdown at a local club. Hearing the countdown in Thai was quite an experience and we all had a lot of fun.

So, until my next post, keep safe and we will see you all soon.

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