Post by Katelyn S.

Sawatdee Ka!

This has been an amazing experience so far. Traveling so far from home really allows me to reflect on my own lifestyle and appreciate  things that I so often take for granted such as fresh running water or the cleanliness of the streets and community. Everyday so far has been full of experience that force you to think of your own life. One thing that I have noticed about the Thai people we have had the opportunity to connect with is the genuine generosity that they show. Everyone always greets you with a warm smile and are every open and welcoming. For example when walking through Bangkok, a sweet local women came up to us and asked about us and took the time to help us find what we were looking for she also suggest other places for us to go. This generosity and warm heartedness is something that I have noticed with all the people I have met so far. 
On our second day in Chaing Mai we had the opportunity to go to a Buddhist Temple for a monk chat. I was able to learn more about the philosophies of Buddhism from the monk we met, Kaka. One thing that he said that stuck out to me was that as humans suffering is an inevitable part of life, but showing our suffering to others is not always helpful. I like how he said “always smile to others as a way to spread love and kindness to others.” This part of Buddhism I have noticed all through out the community with the local people. When I think about home, this is something that I would say that I don’t see as much. It seems to me that in the U.S. suffering is more visible, it may affect a persons behavior and attitude towards others.
I am excited to continue this learning experience! 
(Oh and by the way I can officially say that I have gone to the bathroom through a hole in the floor on the moving train! When in Thailand 🙂

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