Final Reflection – Do what Makes Sense! by Kiara Malone

Looking back on this trip to Thailand I am amazed that this opportunity was presented to me. Thailand was so much of a culture shock; I thought that maybe since I had been abroad before that I wouldn’t feel so out of place traveling but I really did. The language barrier was always present so I felt that connecting with Thai people was harder than I anticipated. One of the privileges that Americans afford themselves is the assumption that everyone should speak English and I am not to be excludes from this presumption. Going into restaurants where the entire menu is in English but none of the staff spoke English was frustrating and mind-boggling at the same time. But even as frustrating at the hand motioning, one word explanation, charades type communication was this did not taint the experience one bit.

I learned so much on this trip that I will always think about. The biggest lesson I wish to adopt is to use common sense and not to over complicate things. This was the country of 1 + 1 definitely equals 2. If there is a problem in the neighborhood, providence, or country that they were made aware of taking the steps to solve and eliminate the problem was the next action taken. In the U.S we over complicate things, we have a department for every single thing that will always give you a “7-10 business days or 6-8 weeks” answer for when things can be done. In Thailand the solution is at the next window. Going to Bumrungrad hospital we were able to see that for each floor/department everything you need is right there information, billing, pharmacy, testing lab, and doctor. You don’t need to waste time or energy going to a thousand different places for one answer. These kind of easy solutions are what Americans need. In Thai culture they seem to be focused of taking care of themselves and their people. There is always money to be made but not at the risk of the health and safety of the citizen. America doesn’t seems to follow a philosophy like this, if you don’t have medical insurance your not getting care or you get bills that make you choose between food and medication. What kind of people are we really? Who are we choosing to run our country? We are spending billions of dollars in efforts to save everyone in the world but ourselves and that makes absolutely no sense. My final take away from my Thailand experience is to Do what Makes Sense and take care of people.

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