I alwaysssssssss start off blogs with an introduction, so here goes: my name is Elaine and I am a going-to-be-junior in the Youth Studies department, and maybe minoring in Asian American Studies and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. As a daughter of Hmong refugees, it has always been a dream of mine to visit Thailand and Laos and to visit the places that my parents often reminisce
and dream about – and here I am, going off to Thailand and even getting the opportunity to visit Hmong villages.
Before our orientation I didn’t really know what to expect. When I heard “temple,” I imagined something huge like what you would see in movies and online. When I got to the Wat Temple I was definitely surprised to see it looked like a regular house. I think that this is something that I want to keep with me throughout the trip things aren’t always going to be what I expect, and it’s important to go into things with an open mind. Even though orientation was pretty laid back, it was really packed with a lot of information that would help me before our departure. For example, we got to know more about the different customs that the Thai people have, such as the different levels of bowing and how we are supposed to sit and act while we’re in a temple. It was also amazing experiencing the hospitality of everyone that we met there and learning more about Buddhism.
With this seminar, I’m worried that I’ll get carried away with the “tourist” things that I’ll want to do and forget or push away what I really want to get out of the trip. One learning goal I have for myself would be to be able to think critically about globalization and their effects and to be able to point it out on my own if/when I see it.